Lesson Planning with OpenAI

This is the third installment of how educators can use OpenAI to their benefit. You can check out previous posts here and here. This post is all about how you can use OpenAI for lesson planning and for creating supplemental materials.

Using OpenAI’s Chat GPT tool can help in creating new or improved lesson plans. You can type in the search query something like, “Give me a 45 minute lesson on how to teach perspective in writing for 6th graders.” This is a lot faster than scouring the web looking for a trusted source or youtube video. Think of the time involved in traditional lesson planning. Now, I know what you are thinking. Is it even a decent lesson? It will be decent enough that you can take what it spits out, tweak it with solid pedagogy, and go from there. It is faster and more efficient than older models. 

Consider also creating supplemental materials to go alongside existing lessons. Mrs. Ruf, a Language Arts teacher, was able to create a simple vocabulary quiz. She had a list of vocabulary words for her 8th grade classes and wanted to create fill-in-the-blank sentences for her quiz. This task could have taken her upwards of 45 minutes to an hour to complete. Making sure to include enough of a context clue that students could figure it out, but not so much that it completely gave it away- this requires some brain power! She realized that ChatGPT could probably help get her started and eliminate much of the work. She put in the prompt, “Write sentences for the following words…” and included the list of words separated by commas. The result was ok, but many of the sentences lacked enough context to function as fill-in-the-blank sentences. She gave it a bit of feedback by adding, “include context clues in the sentences”. This time the results were nearly perfect! Only a couple of sentences needed revision. What could have taken an hour ended up only taking about 10 minutes.

Here are three tips for getting useable lesson plans or supplemental materials.

Ask very specific questions with clear parameters. The more detail inputted, the better results outputted.

Ask for what type of lessons you’d like. For example, you could ask it to give you some ideas for a project based learning activity on a particular topic.

Consider solid pedagogy when using what it gives you. For example, you may discover that it gives you solid outlines of the lessons but it might not be interactive enough for your teaching style. Feel free to ramp up whatever it gives you and go from there.

I’d encourage you to consider the time consuming tasks of being a teacher and discover if Chat GPT could be your new assistant. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take having a smart assistant any day! Please share with me how you are using Chat GPT so we can discuss this further. Thank  you to Mrs. Ruf for contributing to this post! The image above was created using Dall-E2 at OpenAI.com using the criteria “abstract painting of artificial intelligence”.

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