Today I’m going to do something that I don’t usually do (except for in my Gifts for the Gifted posts), which is to recommend a resource to you that isn’t free. I’m breaking this rule because:
- it’s the last week before break for many of you, and I completely remember the insanity of that week as well as my desperation
- it’s funny and I could totally see middle schoolers and up enjoying this activity
- you can sneak in some writing practice while they are enjoying this activity
“Weird Gift Reviews” is a lesson idea shared by Matt Eicheldinger recently on TikTok. (And, yes, I also noticed that our last names are somewhat similar, but alas we are not related.) Matt is the published author of Matt Sprouts and the Curse of Ten Broken Toes. He also teaches middle school, and he swears by this lesson that he uses every year around this time. In the lesson, students look up weird gifts on Amazon and write their own reviews. You can purchase Matt’s digital package for $2.00 here, but in his video he also gives you all the information you need to craft your own version quickly, even the idea to crowd-source the weird gifts by having the students submit them through a Google Form.
@matteicheldinger I wouldn’t share this with teachers unless it works 100% of the time. This is the first thing I’ve shared ever on TikTok besides humor…enjoy! #teachertip #holidayactivities #teacherlessonplans #teacherconfessions #weirdgifts #teachertips @Amazon ♬ Quirky – Oleg Kirilkov
Of course, I am the Queen of Piggybacking on Ideas, so I immediately thought it would be funny to also provide students with some unusual reviews of products and have them guess what the products are. For example,
You could have the students draw what they think the mask would have looked like, and then reveal the actual product.
I found the above quote in this CNET article, and decided (since not all of the products or quotes are appropriate for school) to make a quick Google Slides presentation to share with you for doing this version of the lesson. Either print out the slides or add each slide as a background to Google Jamboard so students can use context clues and their imaginations to draw products to match the reviews. So, look at that, a bonus freebie for you!
I’ll be adding this post to my December Wakelet in the Creative Activities column, where you can also find my Winter S.C.A.M.P.E.R. and Snowglobe lessons.