Sophie and Ben' Fort
Discovery in Rhyme
Ben likes to build as does Sophie his twin
With cardboard and tape and cans made of tin.
In fact anything that either one finds
Goes in the garage, there’s stuff of all kinds:

Recycled plastic, bicycle tires
Hangers and string and telephone wires
Paper towel tubes, a pair of pink drapes
And old picture frames in many odd shapes.

The garage was full, no room for the car
So mom and dad said, “This has gone too far.
Benjamin, Sophie, you have quite enough.
Make plans and begin to use all this stuff.”

Well Sophie sat down with paper and pen
And brainstormed ideas with her brother Ben.
“A castle,” he said, “a place for my knights
Or a big firehouse with lots of red lights.”

Sophie responded, “I like how you think
A house would be great but it should be pink.
A place where we sing and do our ballet
Help me get started Ben, what do you say?”

“Let’s try something else, that both of us like,”
He said as he stood near Sophie’s old bike.
So Sophie and Ben each started to sort
Then at the same time, said, “Let’s make a fort!”

They carried the stuff out to the backyard.
With two of them there, it wasn’t that hard.
Sophie and Ben attached walls to some trees.
Working together they did it with ease.

They twisted and pounded like two little elves.
What tools did they use?  They had them, themselves.
Their hands were like hammers, wrenches and clamps.
They worked them so hard their fingers got cramps.

For those tougher jobs, the twins used their feet.
The teamwork they had was really quite neat.
It took them two days but when they were done,
They called all their friends to show everyone

Sophie and Ben were the talk of the town,
Even more famous than Bozo the Clown.
Their fort was so grand for children to play,
And so that’s what they did day after day.
How our society handles stereotypes is an important part of our
culture.  
Books, songs and live storytelling are all great media for
introducing something to a child.  Beginning a conversation with
fictional characters gives a child easier access to the topic
empowering the child to ask questions that can be more personal.  

In this story Ben wants to build a firehouse whereas Sophie
counters with the idea of  a pink ballet studio.  Elementary kids get
the joke but then focus on the rest of the story  which is about finding
the common ground and working together on a fort that everyone
can enjoy.

For younger audiences this is a great story for leaving out the final
word of each rhyming couplet.  Most children in kindergarten and
somechildren in pre-K can come up with the right word  if I pause for
a moment each time during the story.

Children can't usually come up with cramps to rhyme with clamps
but it is fun to add some new vocabulary in each story.  The
performance helps the audience understand the meaning.  The kids
really like my Sophie and Ben puppets as well.


When I tell this story in song form I use the following chorus.  
Choruses give children time to process the verse as well as a
chance to grasp the focal point of the song.

Chorus:

Are you ready to build?
All you need is your hands
And a mind that's filled
With a can do attitude
Do you want a partner
Like a sister or brother
I can't wait to see
What strikes your mood.