A popsicle puzzle can be used for any sort of short-term research activity. Her example uses a short report on an animal, but you could also do this for geography (assign students their own state, country or location to research), or history (historical figures, ancient cultures, artifacts, events, etc), science (scientific discoveries, processes, etc), and almost anything else you can imagine.
I like this activity because it combines lots of good things: research, writing, technology (students have to type the information that appears on their puzzles, and find or illustrate a good picture), and hands-on/visual learning with creating and reconstructing the craft.
I also love her suggestion to have students mix up their sticks, place them in a labeled plastic baggy, and then rotate to one another's desk to reassemble others' puzzles and read the information on the back. Have them jot down one or two interesting facts about each other's puzzles, or compose your own assessment activity.
Watch the example videos: