ChatGPT Teacher Tips Part 5 – Example Generator

[INTRO: A recent national report by the Watson Foundation found that teachers are using ChatGPT more than students and are using it to create new lesson ideas. To help out all of our teacher friends, we are offering a series of posts focused on practical ways that you can use ChatGPT to assist with your own lesson design! (Check out our first tip here!) Each post will focus on a practical  strategy for using ChatGPT and will include ideas for both elementary and secondary school teachers. Here is the fifth part of our series:]

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Why ChatGPT as an Example Generator?

Students can learn a variety of complex concepts and processes through examples. In addition to contextualizing and illustrating abstract concepts, examples can provide a framework for students to apply their understanding to new circumstances. ChatGPT can generate many examples on numerous topics and do so within a matter of seconds. In addition, ChatGPT can adopt the style of different writers and historical figures, and even roleplay as a scientist or mathematician. So, teachers can leverage ChatGPT to assist them in generating a diverse set of examples and scenarios regarding curriculum topics that students are trying to learn. This can save teachers time and enable them to explore topics in greater depth.

How to use ChatGPT as an Example Generator

As always, the way you craft a prompt is important for generating helpful responses. So, provide useful context, such as the concept, process, or phenomena students are trying to learn. Think about course-specific or student-level information that could be useful in constructing an effective prompt. And be prepared to refine your prompts if the responses you receive are too general or tangential. 

Example Generator: Primary and Secondary School Examples 

Below are several examples of ChatGPT used as an example generator for primary and secondary classes. A few of the examples include a sample prompt: 

Primary School Examples:

  • Reading: ChatGPT can generate a diverse set of examples for teaching phonics and sight words, such as “I see the red apple,” “The big dog chased the ball,” or “The fat cat sat on the mat and ate a rat.”
    • “The fat cat sat on the mat and ate a rat.” Ask students to identify the rhyming words in the sentence and come up with their own rhyming words to add to the sentence.
  • Writing: ChatGPT can provide examples of descriptive writing, such as “The beach was a sparkling oasis of sand and sea,” or persuasive writing, such as “Why dogs make great pets.”
  • Arithmetic: ChatGPT can generate math word problems that can be acted out and solved through role-playing, such as setting up a pretend grocery store and having students calculate the cost of various items.

Secondary School Examples:

  • English:
    • ChatGPT can provide examples of literary devices, such as “Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds, as in ‘Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.'”
    • ChatGPT can also provide examples of literary themes, such as “The theme of love in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is a powerful force that can transcend social boundaries.”
    • ChatGPT can generate examples of rhetorical devices, such as “Hyperbole is an exaggeration used to emphasize a point, such as ‘I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.'”
      • Prompt: Generate examples of literary devices used in a specific passage from a novel or play. For example, “Generate examples of imagery and personification used in Act 2, Scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet.”
  • Sciences:
    • ChatGPT can generate examples of scientific phenomena that can be observed in the natural world.
      • Prompt: “Generate examples of how erosion can shape the landscape over time.”
    • ChatGPT can provide examples of biological processes, such as Homeostasis:
      • “Fish use homeostasis to regulate the concentration of water and salt in their bodies. When living in saltwater, fish actively pump salt out of their bodies to maintain a balance with their environment; when living in freshwater, they absorb salt from their environment to prevent dilution of their internal fluids.”
  • Mathematics:
    • ChatGPT can provide examples of advanced mathematical concepts, such as topology:
      • “Network topology in computer science: The topology of a computer network describes the physical or logical arrangement of its components. By studying network topology, computer scientists can optimize network performance, improve security, and troubleshoot problems.”
    • ChatGPT can generate examples of word problems that require the application of a specific mathematical concept.
      • Prompt: “Generate examples of word problems that require the use of the Pythagorean theorem.”
  • Foreign Languages:
    •  ChatGPT can generate examples of Spanish idioms and expressions, such as “A buen entendedor, pocas palabras bastan” (A good listener understands with few words).
    • ChatGPT can generate examples of vocabulary words and phrases related to a specific theme or topic.
      • Prompt: “Generate examples of intermediate Spanish vocabulary words and phrases related to business and tourism in Madrid, Spain.”
  • Arts:
    • ChatGPT can generate examples of art techniques and styles.
      • Prompt: “Generate examples of both impressionism and cubism and links to where students can see these works online:
  • History:
    • ChatGPT can provide examples of historical movements, such socialism or communism:
      • Prompt: “Provide two examples each of socialist and communist political movements. Provide discussion questions for high school students to help them understand how socialism and communism are similar and different.”
    • ChatGPT can generate examples of historical events and their impact on society.
      • Prompt: “Generate examples of how the Civil Rights Movement in the United States impacted the careers of black professional athletes and artists.”

You may well need to revise your prompts to generate more in-depth or more specific answers. For example, if you are prompting ChatGPT for examples of scientific or mathematical processes, you might specify that you want real-world examples in specific fields, such as environmentalism, architecture, and computer science. 

Keep in mind that you can ask ChatGPT to generate examples that appear to be in contrast with each other. For instance, you could prompt ChatGPT to provide examples of Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity and ask students how these examples are both similar and different.

You can also prompt ChatGPT to provide both correct and incorrect examples (of a process, movement, style, etc.). You could present these examples to students and ask them which examples are appropriate and which are not.

Remember, ChatGPT may not always respond exactly as you expect. And it can make errors. However, with a bit of creativity and effective prompts, ChatGPT can be a useful tool for generating ideas for curriculum topics?

–by Tom Daccord, with help from ChatGPT 

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