Honestly, the things my students some up with are phenomenal! They come up with things I never expected and the structures usually come out completely different for each group. It is pretty amazing to see what the students create. I highly recommend that you try this some time in your classes, it shows just how much your students do know.
The part that really makes me happy is that several people; teachers, TAs, and even students have asked me if I personally and single-handedly dyed the popsicle sticks for the exercise. Yes, I am innovative (not my word, but I'm flattered, so I'll take it!) and creative (again, not my own words), but I am NOT that patient or "craft-able." When I was asked if I bought the sticks that way or if I made them, one TA responded to the inquirer, "No, she ran out into the forest, chopped down a tree, whittled out each and every stick, and took the time to dye them six different colors!" Just for reference, I BOUGHT them like that from a Dollar Tree store for a dollar a packet (it takes to packets to complete six sets). But I thank those of you who allude to the fact that I am just that crafty, even if it is only in joking.
Besides, even if I did have the time to dye 200 popsicle sticks six different colors, I'm not sure I would do that just for an exercise, but then again I guess I did cut out 6,000 different strips of colored paper for the color poetry exercise and got massive tennis elbow. That only happened one semester though because I changed the exercise to use (you guessed it!) colored popsicle sticks. And you thought I was kidding when I said I'd teach my students by any means necessary.