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Wacky Uses: Coffee, Alka-selzer, Reddi-Wip

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I got this idea from a brief segment on CBS This Morning. There's a
guy named Joey Green who has a website at that
lists unusual uses for household products. It reminded me of a
traditional creativity exercise ("Come up with as many uses for
this paper clip as possible") but with a more useful twist.

First, visit the site. There's suggestions for vinegar, Reddi-Wip,
Miracle Whip, Maxwell House Coffee, etc. I printed out one copy of
each thing.

In class, you can either write down the names of the products, or
even bring some of them in for more fun. Depending on the number
of students in the class, you can either assign a product to a group
or to an individual. They have to come up with as many uses as they
can for the product, and they need at least three.

The sharing is the best part of this exercise. When they share ideas,
encourage other students to mention whatever else they've thought of.
My students were very good about coming up with many of the uses
listed on the website, but there were always some that were pretty

After this discussion, give out sections of the printed material from
the website. If your students are like mine, they will be pretty
fascinated with this information. Without being asked, some of them
will take notes. In the end, they really learn some interesting
things. Some of it is just fun, but some of it is really useful.

Good luck!

Karin Abell
Carrboro, NC
Durham Technical Community College

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