Have you ever spent your prep periods, Sunday afternoons, or even weeknights struggling to come up with some thought-provoking questions for your Chapter 11 discussion on Hatchet or maybe googling some good essay prompts for your 3rd period class?
The struggle is real! While it would be nice if your curriculum came with good to go discussion questions and essays prompts, the reality is that it’s often you who has to create these, and it takes way too much time!
It’s time to work smarter and not harder. Let’s explore three ways to use Chat GPT in the classroom to generate high-quality questions, saving you valuable time and energy.
What is Chat GPT?
First, what is Chat GPT? Chat GPT is a large language model trained by OpenAI that can generate human-like text. It can be used in a variety of ways, including helping students with their writing assignments.
While some teachers may worry that students will use it to plagiarize their work along with many other things, we’re going to focus on how you, the teacher, can embrace this tool to make your life a whole lot easier and make your lesson prep much more efficient!
#1: Use Chat GPT to Come Up with Quality Discussion Questions
Generating thought-provoking questions that require critical thinking and textual evidence can be a challenging task for teachers. However, with Chat GPT, teachers can easily generate questions by typing a command into the website.
For example, a teacher might type in “Create 5 critical thinking questions about the novel Refugee.” Chat GPT would immediately generate questions, such as: “How does the novel challenge the notion of national identity, and what role does individual identity play in the story?” If the teacher likes the questions, they are good to go. If not, they can quickly and easily tweak the questions to better meet their needs.
At EB, we like to think of Chat GT as a brainstorming tool. It gives us the foundation for the text we need, and we know we will need to adjust it and make it work for us!
#2: Use Chat GPT to Create Essential Questions
Imagine being able to quickly and easily differentiate your essay questions for your students for all your big writing assignments. Chat GPT allows you to pick and choose what questions will work best for your students.
Just like coming up with discussion questions, you can ask Chat GPT to create essential questions for your writing assignments and then easily adjust the level of difficulty for them using the suggestions we shared earlier!
When I typed in “What is a text-dependent essential question for the novel The Outsiders, it gave me back a bunch of options to choose from. I can tweak them as needed and then give my students options to write about or purposely assign certain questions to specific students to best support them in their writing process.
By providing different essay questions for your students, you can ensure that each student is being challenged and engaged at their appropriate level of learning.
We all know, some students may need more support and scaffolding in order to understand the material, while others may be ready for more complex and advanced questions that require higher-level thinking skills.
By giving different essay questions, you can differentiate the level of difficulty and complexity of the task to meet the needs of each student.This may have been an overwhelming task in the past…of course you wanted to differentiate for your students but it took a lot of time and prep on your part.
Utilizing Chat GPT to help you come up with various essential questions for essay topics is a way for you to differentiate in a fraction of the time!
#3: Use Chat GPT to Write Essay Prompts
This one might not be as obvious as the other ideas we just shared, but think about it…
Why is providing mentor essays to your students so critical?
If you’ve been a part of the EB world for awhile, you know that we strongly, strongly suggest that teachers write a sample essay, or response to literature for every big writing assignment they give.
Students need something to strive for, and that’s where teacher sample essays come in.
Showing students multiple model essays that follow the writing framework you use will help propel their writing to the next level because they can analyze quality writing and discuss what makes the sample essay so strong so they can mimic the strategies in their own essays.
But, let’s face it? Teachers rarely have extra time or energy to write an entire sample essay even though the benefits are so great!
That’s where Chat GPT comes in. Simply type in your command on the website and Chat GPT will write an entire sample essay for you. Then all you need to do is read it over, make any quick adjustments, and then share it with your students before they go off and write their own essays!
It’s absolutely mind-blowing how quickly you have a full-written essay in front of you. When I did this using the essential question for The Outsiders, I was impressed with the essay it wrote for me! All I had to do was find a direct quote (although I could have had Chat GPT add that for me), adjust a sentence or two, and I had a mentor text ready to share with students. And it was ready in under 5 minutes!
Think about how having a sample essay will help your students! The sample offers a clear model of good writing. They can also see how good writing flows, and it provides an example of high-quality work.
Sample essays can spark creativity and inspiration. By seeing how someone else has approached the same topic, students can be inspired to come up with their own ideas and develop their own unique voice and style. This can help to encourage them to take more risks in their writing and to be more confident in expressing their own ideas.
Why wouldn’t a teacher want to provide students with these opportunities? And now it can be done in a matter of minutes with each big writing assignment! Think of the ripple effects this will have on students’ writing throughout the year!
Chat GPT can be a game-changer for teachers looking to streamline their lesson planning and create better questions and essay prompts. By using Chat GPT to generate essential questions, discussion questions, and essay prompts, teachers can save valuable time and energy, allowing them to focus on what matters most – their students.Let us know if you try these ideas in your own classroom! We’d love to hear about it!