If you have students asking if they can use ChatGPT (and we’re willing to bet you do), it’s time to do some instruction on artificial intelligence (AI). Blue Apple’s free Timely Topic, You and AI, serves as a great introduction to the transformative power of AI. These four free 15-minute activities will help students understand AI’s potential, and, in particular, how it can help them as students. Do one lesson or do them all! Here is what you’ll find in this exploration of AI:
Disclaimer: ChatGPT requires users be at least 13 years old. Teachers of younger students should follow the suggested modification to utilize this lesson as a whole-class teacher resource.
Lesson 1: What Is AI?
The activity: How does ChatGPT decide what to say? In this simple activity, students learn more about the inner workings of AI while improving their literacy skills along the way. As students receive different types of input and determine how a story should unfold, they’ll be able to reflect on how different versions of AI determine how to craft a response. They’ll gain insights that will help them form a deeper understanding of what AI is and what it can do!
What it teaches: Students are learning how a Large Language Model (LLM) works. The first activity models basic text prediction (like the kind on your cell phone), whereas the second shows how tools like ChatGPT are more advanced. Students can clearly see how much more effective a tool it is because there’s so much more context.
Why we’re fans: This activity takes a complex process and makes it concrete (dare we say analog?) for kids.
Lesson 2: Beat ChatGPT: The Game
The activity: Select a prompt to pose to ChatGPT and share the responses that it comes up with. Discuss as a class what ChatGPT did well, as well as areas where the responses could be improved. Then, challenge students to make ChatGPT’s responses better.
What it teaches: This activity really shows students that ChatGPT isn’t perfect. It’s a tool, but you have to know how to use it to find real value.
Why we’re fans: You can choose both your grade level and a subject area and get pre-made prompts that are perfect for your students.
Lesson 3: Right or Wrong … When To Use AI
The activity: Students will consider a variety of scenarios in which they use AI for classwork. (For example, Kelsey just finished a paper and isn’t sure if there are any spelling or grammar mistakes. They use an AI tool to check for errors and to suggest improvements.) Students will rate the acceptability of the individual’s actions and debate their answers in groups. After a class vote, they will answer reflection questions.
What it teaches: This activity shows a variety of ways that AI can be used in the classroom and helps students differentiate between acceptable and unacceptable use. Building critical-thinking skills over here!
Why we’re fans: The ethical use of AI in education is an essential conversation. We’re here for having it with students as early as possible.
Lesson 4: AI Discovery Quest
The activity: You’ll provide your students with a simple prompt to copy and paste into ChatGPT. From there, ChatGPT will lead the student in a discovery quest of their choosing. The lesson includes a Discovery Form, where students can record what they’ve learned. At the end, they can ask ChatGPT to quiz them with three questions to gauge their knowledge.
What it teaches: This is a great way for students to learn about any topic in any subject area—so they’re learning content as well as how to use ChatGPT to explore something new.
Why we’re fans: It’s a game changer for research projects.