#47 – Idiom Play

Hold your tongue, because we’ve got our ducks in a row to sail our sieve to the land of idioms with Ms. LaBrie’s class of 3rd graders at Madison Simis Elementary School in Phoenix, Az. These kids were inspired by the book, “The Cat’s Pajamas” [public library] by Wallace Edwards. These kids had a lot to draw on as they grabbed the tiger by the tail to play with both the figurative and literal meanings of idiom they selected. Not to blow their horns, but they now know idioms are a piece of cake! Face the Music and GO PLAY! –www.buttonsandfigs.com

Listen and see the student’s idiom stories:


extra! extra! – Poetry IS for the Birds!

Buttons & Figs was invited to Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona for their Bring on the Birds event! It was organized by the Maricopa County Audubon Society. Kids attending the event were able to visit a magnificent bald eagle, a menacing turkey vulture and learn about other birds brought to the bookstore by Liberty Wildlife Rescue. Because nature fills us with wonder, poet David Chorlton and Buttons & Figs kids shared their poems at the event…and we were even able to capture a few just for you…here are some nature loving friends who stopped by the bookstore proving that Poetry IS for the Birds…


#43 – Nonsense Play with Calef Brown

On this episode we’re sailing our sieve to the land of Nonsense with Calef Brown’s latest book, “Up Versus Down: Poems, Painting and Serious Nonsense.” Calef’s nonsense verse shook up our minds, inspiring us to gather wacky words and play. Buttons & Figs kids show you how we played with word associations in order to write nonsense verse of our own – we hope you’ll give it a try at home. Calef has great advice if you’d like to write too, be sure to listen to his whole interview. Read all Calef Brown’s books aloud (13 to be exact!) for a super, earlicious treat (not to mention reading 13 books would be a nifty little feat.) www.buttonsandfigs.com

Enjoy our full, fun interview with Calef Brown, author of “Up Verses Down: Poems, Paintings and Serious Nonsense”. Learn about Calef’s process for writing nonsense verse, advice for becoming a writer and hear him read some of his poems from his latest work. Be sure to listen to episode “#43 – Nonsense Play with Calef Brown” to hear the ways we played with nonsense. www.buttonsandfigs.com

Here is the Buttons & Figs kids nonsense verse in process. We played word association games to gather our list of words, then we arranged them to build nonsense verse. Listen to their pieces on Episode #43 – Nonsense Play with Calef Brown.



#41 – Idea Play

Sail in a sieve to the land of ideas with Ms. Harding’s class of 2nd graders at Madison Simis Elementary School in Phoenix, Az. These kids were inspired by the book, “What Do You Do With An Idea?” by Kobi Yamata, illustrated by Mae Besom. The last page of the book says ideas can change the world, so these kids set out to think about ideas to make oceans, lands, schools, playgrounds, and zoos better…they even have ideas for how to make cobras better! What ideas do you have to change the world? –www.buttonsandfigs.com