Ben Train

It’s Funny Where Ben’s Train Takes Him

Title: It’s Funny Where Ben’s Train Takes Him

Author:  Robert Burleigh

Illustrator:  Joanna Yardley

Age:  preschool, elementary school

Description:  Ben sets up an elaborate train excursion in his room that takes him up, around, through, and under trees, farmhouses, tunnels and towns.  It all starts with a drawing…

Goals/Concepts: Motor planning

  • Sequencing
  • Spatial terms
  • Imaginative play

Why I like this book:  This story is a delightful example of how a simple little drawing can be the start of an adventure as Ben’s imagination takes over using everything in his room from blocks to toy animals, bubbles and plants.  I also love the book because it’s about a boy and his trains!  What a great way to capture and expand on imaginary play.

Ideas for use:  

  • Ask the kids to put all the places Ben and his train went in the correct sequence and act it out.
  • Use the book to facilitate ideation – have kids look around the room and think about what common objects they can use to represent buildings, trees, etc.
  • Read the story to a small group of kids and have them decide on a theme for a collaborative story to do together.
  • Play, “I’m Going on a Picnic” clapping game but go on a train ride instead…”and I will pass a farmhouse, go through a tunnel”, etc.
  • Have kids draw a story starter picture of some kind of adventure and then exchange it with a friend to complete the picture and story to promote flexibility.

Submitted by:  Jill Perry, MHA, MS, OTR/L

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