Not sure how to teach students about Artificial Intelligence and ChatGPT? Here is a Critical Thinking ChatGPT Lesson Plan to help you have a debate with your Middle School and High School students during Back to School activities in September 2023!


Hey, parents, teachers, students! If you are somehow connected to the education system, either because you’re a parent and you have a kid going through school, or you work in the education system, or you’re in the education system, you absolutely have to watch this video because the world has changed. The way that we learn has changed.

The Question at Hand

And the question now is, should ChatGPT be allowed in schools, or is this cheating? Check this out.

Role of a Virtual Support Teacher

Hey everyone, it’s Mike from Educircles. I am your Virtual Support Teacher, otherwise known as your Virtual Substitute Teacher. And in today’s lesson, we’re going to be asking the question, should ChatGPT be allowed in schools?

Now, this video has two versions and you are watching the longer version right now. There are links to both versions in the video description.

What is a Virtual Support Teacher?

Well, you know how you have a classroom teacher, and that classroom teacher is probably in person and they have to do a bunch of different things.

They have to teach the content, but not only teach the content, they have to deal with problem behaviors.

They have to figure out how to help each individual student learn and they have to take opportunities to figure out what you get and what you don’t get.

There’s a lot going on, and that’s not even half of it.

And sometimes if you are lucky, your school is able to bring a support teacher into your classroom, and the support teacher is often in person and they might help out with classroom behavior or help a specific student or a group of students succeed.

A Different Approach

We’re going to flip that model around. I am your Virtual Support Teacher, and what I’m going to do is I’m going to deliver the content, and that frees up the in-person classroom teacher to do everything else.

I mean, we could try having me do the classroom management, but let’s be honest, the person at the back over there is already checked out, and that person is secretly playing on their phone. Like how’s that going to work? That’s probably a better task for the in-person classroom teacher.

The Lesson’s Content

My name is Mike Fuchigami. I’m going to teach today’s lesson and the content that I’m teaching is connected to your curriculum.

You’ll have to ask your in-person teacher to find out how it’s connecting. It might connect to English Language Arts. This might connect to media literacy. This might be part of a critical thinking class. This might be part of oral communication – all sorts of connection possibilities.

The Importance of Learning Skills

But rather than just focusing on content, we’re actually going to focus on how to learn.

Content is important, but the skills that students are going to need when they get jobs – when they’re doing this adulting thing – well, those jobs haven’t been invented yet, so I can’t deliver content specific to the things that you’re going to be doing in the future because that hasn’t been written yet, right? It’s all up in the air.

But what we can do is help you learn how to learn because learning is a superhero power, and if you are able to learn anything, it’s like absorbing another superhero power and you’re leveling up and then you have that skillset.

So learning how to learn is the game that we’re trying to play.

The Necessity of Perseverance

Now, some of you have already checked out, you’re thinking, yeah, this is boring. I’m done. Right?

Well, if you want to succeed in life – at anything, you have

to have self-control, right? There’s no way around it. Being successful means being able to do inconvenient tasks repeatedly more than the other people.

That’s what success is. Being able to do inconvenient tasks over and over again until you reach success and staying motivated to keep on going when you want to give up. That’s how you achieve success.

Overcoming Instant Gratification

So this is an opportunity. At some point in the lesson, you’re going to be bored because we live in a generation where you want instant gratification. The wifi has to be fast and free.

And so longer form content (like teaching in a classroom) is hard to pay attention to.

But if you can develop the skillset to be able to get through hard boring tasks, then that helps you to be able to do whatever it is that you want to succeed in because success is a process.

Classroom Interaction

All right, are there any questions?

Well, I can’t actually see you, so this is a good time to pause the video and you can ask the in-person classroom teacher.

And the in-person classroom teacher – PRO TIP: You can outsource the pausing of the video to a student. They are already probably shouting at you because they want this job because this will help keep them entertained. They watch, they take notes, they press pause, right? So let’s pause the video; see if there are any questions.

Resuming the Lesson

All right, welcome back.

So there are four things. In this lesson, I’m going to talk about how change happens and how that affects education and learning. We’re going to be looking at a writing example written by ChatGPT. We’re going to look at bias and we’re going to look at taking action. Bias means the need to take action. And finally, there’s a bonus question. So as you watch this video, see if you can guess what that bonus question is going to be without peeking ahead.

Part One: Change Happens (Understanding Change) (05:28)

Change happens. Not only does change happen, change is hard. No one likes change.

The Covid-19 Impact

In fact, we just went through a huge change with Covid 19. Covid 19, the pandemic happened. It fundamentally changed the way that we learned. For a while we were learning virtually, there were lockdowns, it changed the way that we live: masks, vaccinations, strong feelings about whether or not this should be happening, what should be done.

  • It affected livelihoods
  • It affected jobs
  • Some jobs changed
  • Some jobs shut down
  • Other jobs were created

So Covid 19 changed the world and not just one part of the world. It was a global event that showed us how interconnected everything is.

The Role of ChatGPT in Education

A couple of months ago, there was another huge change in the way the world works. ChatGPT is artificial intelligence that is easily accessible by the masses, and this is fundamentally going to change the way that we do things, the way that we work, the way that we live, the way that we learn. This is the next change. It doesn’t really matter because eventually there will be another change, another change after that because change just happens. Change is constant.

Change Across Centuries

Change happens across the centuries. Let’s look at some examples here:

  • 18th century
  • 20th century
  • 21st century

The 18th century ends in December 31st, 1800, so it’s a hundred years before that. And then the 20th century. Right now, we are living in the 21st century. This video is being recorded March, 2023, which is right there. The way that we learn – the way that information is shared has fundamentally changed between 18th century and the 21st century.

Learning Tools Across Centuries

So in the 18th century, there was a company called Encyclopedia Britannica. They started in 1768, which is right here – the 18th century. So this is 18th century learning technology, and basically they had a bunch of books. The books were alphabetical. You would go to the library or maybe you had a set at your home and you would open it up and you would find a fact. And the moment the book was printed, it was already out of date, but this was the source of information. That’s how we did our research.

In the 20th century, a company called Google developed a search engine. The search engine launched in 1998. 1998 is in the 20th century. So Google search is 20th-century technology, and this changed the way that we get information.

So the internet is a whole bunch of webpages and search engines basically crawl the internet, and they’re like a giant index to help you find what you need. So rather than going alphabetically to find the topic, you just type into this website, whatever the search term is, and then Google looks at all of the different webpages it’s crawled and it prioritizes and figures out, oh yeah, if you want this keyword, it probably wants you probably mean this. And I’ll show you a couple results based on that.

Well, a couple months ago, ChatGPT changed the world. ChatGPT started November 2022. 2022 here is here in the 21st century. So ChatGPT is 21st-century technology, and basically, it’s a web app right now. You type in your question, you type in whatever here, and ChatGPT uses artificial intelligence and it pools together information that’s been trained with to come up with an answer that it thinks you want to know, and it learns based on whatever information that its programmers have fed it.

The Need to Adapt

If you do not keep up with change, if you do not change, you’ll become a dinosaur. If you do not change, you are at a competitive disadvantage. Who are you competing against? What are you competing for?

If you’re watching this with students with your kids, now’s a good time to pause and discuss. Have a conversation. If you don’t change, you’re at a disadvantage. Do you agree with that?

Part 1 – ChatGPT lesson plan – Worksheet #1 Detailed Activity Guide


This is the long version of the video where I walk you through step by step what to do, and I will tell you to pause the video at appropriate spots.


You’re going to get the worksheet and the worksheet’s going to look like this. Based on the information in the lesson so far, do you strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree with the statement? The statement is if you do not change, you are at a competitive disadvantage.

THINK: Independently fill out the worksheet

  • Fill out the table: Write evidence from the text on the left side, and explain your thinking on the right side.
  • Your options for explaining your thinking include asking questions, connecting to the text, inferring what the text is saying, evaluating whether you agree with this, trying to find the main idea of something in here, or repairing comprehension.
  • This is not about perfection, it’s about documenting your understanding as it grows throughout this lesson.
  • You should show mistakes as you grow and learn, because that’s what learning is about – learning from mistakes.
  • Read the instructions independently, then think and silently fill this out.

PAIR: Partner Work / Idea Volleyball

  • Once the third step is reached, find a partner and play “Idea Volleyball.”
  • The aim is to collaborate and come up with a new understanding that neither of you had before the conversation.
  • The process involves sharing something on your page with your partner, and your partner needs to respond to it appropriately.
  • Avoid reading something new from your page before the conversation has fully developed. The goal is to see how complex of an idea you can build.

SHARE: Class Conversation

After the partner work, you will have a class conversation.

  • The aim is to share something, either from your page or something your partner said.
  • Develop a more complex idea by adding to the thinking that’s been shared in the class conversation.


After the class conversation, go back to your seats and write down something new.

  • This could be something new your partner or classmate said, or a new idea you’ve come up with.
  • The goal is to communicate and collaborate and think about what your partner’s saying and add to the conversation. At the end, you’ll get a chance to write down everything.

ChatGPT Worksheet #1 – Completion

THINK: Independently fill out ChatGPT Worksheet #1

  • Now’s a good time to get the worksheet and silently start working on filling it out.
  • Once everyone has the worksheet, take two minutes for silent writing. Fill out the worksheet with evidence from the text and what you think that means.

PAIR: Partner Work / Idea Volleyball – ChatGPT Worksheet #1

  • Find a partner and play “Idea Volleyball.”
  • The process remains the same as in the first round, with one person sharing their idea and the other person responding to it.

SHARE: Class Conversation – ChatGPT Worksheet #1

  • Have a class conversation, adding something new to the conversation that didn’t exist before you started.

Consolidation – ChatGPT Worksheet #1

  • Write down on your page things that you didn’t know before, things that were raised in conversations, or revise your ideas and add to them.

Big Question: Should ChatGPT be allowed in school? Or is this cheating?

  • Now that you’ve had a moment to think about change, let’s think about the big question. Should ChatGPT be allowed in school? Or is this cheating?
  • Based on the information in the slideshow so far, and whatever you know about ChatGPT, let’s take a shot at this question.

Discussion Point

Pause the video and discuss.

Part 1 (continued) – ChatGPT lesson plan – Worksheet #2 Detailed Activity Guide

In Worksheet #2, we’re going to be looking at this question about should ChatGPT be allowed in schools? Or is this too much like cheating?

Understanding Perspectives

Some of you might know a lot about ChatGPT. Some of you might have used ChatGPT. Some of you might have no idea what it is. No problem.

Write down evidence from the text, the slideshow, things that you hear me say and then respond to that. You can respond with:

  • I have no idea what ChatGPT
  • I think it’s this
  • Make a connection to something you’ve done or something you’ve seen. Maybe your classmates have started using ChatGPT.

Preparation Stage

Let’s take a moment right now to grab the worksheet and read instructions. If you finish early, you’re just working on filling out the worksheet.

THINK: Independent Thinking – ChatGPT Worksheet #2

Okay, let’s take a moment to think and independently write our answers on this worksheet. Should ChatGPT be allowed in schools or is that cheating?

PAIR: Engaging in Dialogue – ChatGPT Worksheet #2

Let’s pair up. We’re going to play Idea Volleyball.

  • Remember, right now we’re just focused on having a good conversation.
  • We’re trying to play Idea Volleyball and add to the conversation, add to what your partner’s saying, and see how complex an idea you can develop.
  • You don’t have to write down anything right now because you’ll get a chance to do that later on in consolidation.

SHARE: Class Discussion – ChatGPT Worksheet #2

Let’s have a class discussion. Let’s see what people think. Let’s see if we can add on the ideas to develop a more complex idea.

CONSOLIDATION: Record your thinking – ChatGPT Worksheet #3

Now is a good time to consolidate our information.

You’re sitting down, you’re recording something new that you didn’t know before, something that you thought was interesting, or you are revising your ideas on this page.

Now is your chance to write things down.

Part 2 What can ChatGPT do?

Let’s look at a writing example to see what ChatGPT can do.