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How AI Can be Used to Develop Innovative Teaching Methods

How AI Can be Used to Develop Innovative Teaching Methods

In the rapidly evolving landscape of education, teachers are constantly seeking innovative ways to engage students and enhance their understanding of STEM subjects. With the advent of advanced language models like ChatGPT, educators now have a powerful tool at their disposal for brainstorming new instruction ideas and conducting in-depth research. This article explores how STEM teachers can leverage ChatGPT to foster creativity, explore new perspectives, and deepen their understanding of various topics, ultimately improving their instructional practices.

ChatGPT can serve as a valuable brainstorming companion for STEM teachers. By engaging in a conversation with the model, educators can generate a wide range of ideas for lesson plans, projects, and activities. This article will offer some practical AI prompts for teachers to experiment with, as well as further explain the advantages of ChatGPT integration in the classroom.

AI as a Lesson Planner:

Let’s start with a simple example: a biology teacher looking for an innovative way to teach cell structure can interact with ChatGPT and receive suggestions for hands-on experiments, interactive simulations, or creative visual aids. This collaborative process helps educators infuse their teaching with novel approaches, ensuring student engagement and comprehension.

Consider this simple prompt I created on This is an example prompt STEM teachers can use to plan a lesson. The prompt asks for general inputs, such as subject, topics to focus on, and key lesson elements (such as a PowerPoint presentation or a game), and then creates a 45 minute lesson outline. Just for the sake of an example, I imagined how a biology teacher might benefit from this prompt:

Input: You are a biology teacher teaching the 9th grade. Develop a lesson plan for students that involves the following elements: a game and a powerpoint presentation. You can cover all of biology but make sure to focus on Photosynthesis and try to maintain focus during the lesson. The entire lesson should last 45 minutes.


Lesson Plan: Photosynthesis

Grade Level: 9th grade

Duration: 45 minutes


1. Understand the process of photosynthesis and its importance in the biosphere.

2. Recognize the key components and requirements for photosynthesis.

3. Explore the interconnectedness between photosynthesis, producers, and consumers.


- PowerPoint presentation

- Handouts with diagrams and key concepts

- Whiteboard/flipchart and markers

- Laptop/computer with projector

- Timer/stopwatch

- Printed game cards (optional)

- Small prizes or rewards (optional)


1. Introduction (5 minutes)

- Begin the lesson by engaging students in a brief discussion about plants and their importance in our lives.

- Ask questions to review their prior knowledge about plants and their ability to produce energy.

- Explain that today's lesson will focus on an essential process for plant growth and energy production: photosynthesis.

2. PowerPoint Presentation (15 minutes)

- Use a PowerPoint presentation to introduce the concept of photosynthesis.

- Include visually stimulating images, diagrams, and concise bullet points to explain the process step by step.

- Highlight the essential components of photosynthesis: sunlight, chlorophyll, carbon dioxide, and water.

- Emphasize the connection between the reactants (CO2 and H2O) and the products (glucose and oxygen).

3. Photosynthesis Game (10 minutes)

- Divide the class into small groups.

- Prepare a game similar to Jeopardy or Quiz Show, where students will answer questions related to photosynthesis using the game cards.

- Assign points for each correct answer and keep a scoreboard on the whiteboard/flipchart to increase excitement.

- Ask questions related to the reactants, products, and essential components of photosynthesis.

- Offer small prizes or rewards for the winning group if desired.

4. Photosynthesis Diagram Activity (10 minutes)

- Hand out the printed diagrams of photosynthesis to each student.

- Instruct them to label the essential components of photosynthesis, including sunlight, chlorophyll, carbon dioxide, and water.

- Encourage students to color the diagram with different shades to differentiate the components.

- Monitor the students' progress and provide assistance as needed.

5. Conclusion and Wrap-Up (5 minutes)

- Recap the key points of the lesson and ask students to briefly summarize the process of photosynthesis.

- Encourage questions and address any misconceptions or uncertainties.

- Provide a brief overview of the connection between photosynthesis, producers (plants), and consumers (animals).

- Conclude the lesson by highlighting the significance of photosynthesis in the biosphere and the overall cycle of life.

Note: The time estimates provided within the lesson plan are approximate and can be adjusted based on the pace of the students and the specific needs of the class

When tinkering with this prompt, the user must be extremely specific about the particular content of the generated lesson. I included a “focus” component to the prompt to help with the specificity. A STEM teacher may want to specify the duration of certain components of the lesson (for example, keeping the game to the last 10 minutes of class). Teachers can also use this prompt as a platform for brainstorming innovative teaching strategies – including the development of in-class games!

Keeping the same biology theme in mind, I played with another prompt that can give STEM teachers ideas of games to play in class. Here’s an example of the prompt in action:


Generate a fun game to be played in the classroom covering the topics of {{photosynthesis}}. Make sure the game is age appropriate as the target audience will be students in {{9th}} grade. Also make sure the game will last {{30}} minutes. Create a catchy and cute name for the game based on the topic(s).


Game Title: "Solar Sprouts: The Photosynthesis Puzzle"

Objective: Help the solar sprouts complete the photosynthesis puzzle by answering questions and solving challenges related to photosynthesis within a limited time.

Materials needed:

- A large poster-sized game board depicting a garden filled with plants, sunlight, and clouds.

- A set of question cards (preferably color-coded) related to photosynthesis.

- Sticky notes or small paper squares.

- Colored pencils or markers.

- Stopwatch or timer.


1. Preparation:

- Hang the game board in the front of the classroom.

- Distribute colorful sticky notes/paper squares and colored pencils/markers to each student.

- Shuffle the question cards and place them face down.

2. Gameplay:

- Divide the students into teams of 4 or 5.

- Each team chooses a team name and a representative to be the 'Sunbeam Sprout.'

- The 'Sunbeam Sprout' starts at the center of the game board.

3. Turns:

- Each team takes turns clockwise.

- When it's a team's turn, the designated representative rolls a die (or picks a number between 1 and 6) and moves the 'Sunbeam Sprout' accordingly on the game board grid.

4. Photosynthesis Point:

- The team lands on a photosynthesis-related topic.

- The team picks a card of the corresponding color and reads the question aloud.

- The other team members silently write down their answers on the colored sticky notes/paper squares.

- Once all the answers are ready, they are revealed simultaneously.

- The team earns 1 point for every correct answer.

5. Challenges:

- At some locations on the board, there are 'Cloud Challenges.'

- When a team lands on a 'Cloud Challenge,' they must complete a task related to photosynthesis, such as building a chloroplast model, drawing and labeling a photosynthesis diagram, or role-playing parts of a plant cell.

- The teacher assesses the completion of the challenge and awards extra points.

6. Time Limit:

- The game lasts 30 minutes.

- The team with the highest score after 30 minutes wins a small prize.

STEM teachers can further develop this game by asking ChatGPT clarifying questions about certain aspects. Teachers can also experiment with extreme cases for further classroom inspiration (for example, asking the AI to create a 30 second or 100 hour game).

AI in Teacher Research and Classroom Development:

Teachers often face the challenge of presenting complex concepts from different angles to cater to diverse learning styles. ChatGPT can assist educators in exploring alternative perspectives and approaches, allowing for a more inclusive and comprehensive learning experience. By engaging in dialogue with the model, teachers can gain fresh insights, alternative explanations, or even cultural and historical contexts related to a particular topic. This enables them to foster a deeper understanding among students and promote critical thinking skills.

Moreover, research is a crucial aspect of a STEM teacher's job, as it enables them to stay updated with the latest advancements and provide accurate information to students. ChatGPT can serve as a valuable research companion, helping educators delve into complex scientific literature, decipher technical jargon, and synthesize information from multiple sources. The model can quickly generate summaries, provide definitions, or offer insights into various scientific theories and discoveries. With ChatGPT, teachers can efficiently navigate through vast amounts of information, saving time and enabling them to bring the most relevant and up-to-date content into their classrooms.


ChatGPT offers STEM teachers an innovative and efficient way to brainstorm new instruction ideas and conduct comprehensive research. Its ability to generate creative suggestions, explore alternative perspectives, and provide insights on various scientific topics empowers educators to enhance their instructional practices. By integrating ChatGPT into their teaching toolkit, teachers can spark student curiosity, foster critical thinking, and stay at the forefront of their respective STEM fields. Embracing AI-powered tools like ChatGPT has the potential to revolutionize STEM education.

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