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Oh boy… In my haste to upgrade some old lesson plans on this blog, I’ve accidentally deleted one of the first… So, welcome to Wacky Products 2.0. If you remember the original version, I hope you will forget it soon, because 2.0 is ready for primetime ZOOMtime with your online groups or one-on-one lessons.
I’m trying to remember how this worked now that all my own instructions have been deleted… I think it started off with this video as a warm-up. Ask your students one simple question: Would you buy this?
It’s a real product, this is a real kickstarter campaign video from 2012 and yes, it’s real wacky. Would your students buy it? Why or why not? Then, ask the following questions (I recommend putting them in the chat as you will return to them later on in the lesson):
- What problem does it solve?
- How does it work?
- Who is the target market?
Once you get through that, you can move on to the vocabulary portion of the activity on page 1 of the PDF. For offline lessons, put your students in pairs or groups, cut out the words, and ask them to divide the cards into probable and improbable. If you are online, have students take turns deciding one box at a time.
Your students are gonna need those words for the rest of the activity because we’ve got a mess of silly products for them. The goal of the next part of the activity is to choose which is real and fake between 2 equally wacky products. Let your students do this in pairs or small groups one slide at a time. To talk about each product they should follow the same questions you posted into the chat for everyone to see.
- SAFETYKORDD is fake; THE Y-BRUSH is real;
- MOBILE KLEAN is real; NU-HOME STERILIZER is real;
- MIITO INDUCTION KETTLE is fake; EMBER TRAVEL MUG is real;
- TELLSPEC is fake; CHARMIN ROLLBOT is real.
If possible, try to get students to use all the words and expressions from the vocabulary section – the first group to use all of them wins… something.
Once that’s over, go to page 6 of the PDF. Here we have some everyday problems that affect all of humanity. Of course, students will spend 10-15 minutes coming up with a product to solve one of them. Each pair or group could choose a different one or everyone can do the same product and compare the solutions at the end. Whichever you feel will motivate your group the most. To help create their product, they should follow the table on page 7.
Of course, at the end, groups present their products to the class and you will vote on the best, wackiest, or worst!