So all of LinkedIn, Teacher Twitter, teaching YouTube channels and teaching Facebook groups are buzzing with Artificial Intelligence posts about ChatGPT. You can give it a lash yourself here https://chat.openai.com
I’m aware I’ve only really scratched the surface of what it can do, and the keywords it would respond best with but from initial playing about it strikes me as something which could be very useful to aid both students and teachers.
To trial it, I wanted to see if it could make a lesson plan plus material. I’ve found when giving it commands (or is that asking it for something … I’m not quite sure but I feel I still need to be polite to a machine…) asking it for the same thing a second or even third time does seem to give differing and sometimes better results.
What I wanted was a 3 hour lesson plan, with aims and objectives to teach a class of B2 students for three hours on mixed conditionals. Why not. Let’s see what it could offer below. I’ve included my commands, but I’ll be uploading more stuff in future when I get more in-depth with it.
My input commands in bold. Comments I’m making for this blogpost are in italics.
I am teaching 12 students, who are all adults between 20-35, English as a second language. Design a 3 hour lesson plan aimed at B2 on the CEFR, with the focus on mixed conditionals.
Objective: By the end of the lesson, students will be able to construct mixed conditionals in speaking and writing.
Materials: Whiteboard, markers, worksheets with mixed conditionals exercises
OK – So far so good, we’ve objective and materials, interestingly, it’s given me ‘worksheets with exercises’ …where?
10-10:30 Introduction/Warm Up:
• Review conditionals
• Introduce mixed conditionals
• Activity: Students will form small groups and discuss the different types of conditionals they know
10:30-11:15 Grammar Focus:
• Review the form and structure of mixed conditionals
• Activity: Students will work in groups of three to label the clauses in each sentence
• Activity: Students will practice creating their own mixed conditionals
11:15-11:30 Break Even includes a break, nice one!
11:30-12:15 Listening Activity:
• Students will listen to a dialogue and complete a gap fill exercise with mixed conditionals
• Activity: Students will discuss the dialogue and make predictions about what will happen next
12:15-12:45 Speaking Activity:
• Students will practice using mixed conditionals in speaking
• Activity: Students will form pairs and role-play conversations using mixed conditionals
12:45-1 Wrap Up/Review:
• Review the objectives of the lesson
• Activity: Students will work in groups to create a summary of the lesson
• Activity: Students will answer questions about mixed conditionals
• Students will be given a homework assignment to practice using mixed conditionals
• Activity: Students will share their answers with the class
• Closure: Students will discuss what they have learned
OK I’m very impressed by this. It’s given me times which seem pretty reasonable for the activities included. It’s included a break which is needed, has lesson openers, closers, homework (good grief) and a mix of activities that can be done. It’s using all the four main skills, mind you I’d always be putting in some much more informal chat to open a class.
Now, it mentions material like listening, worksheets, dialogue and other material. It does not provide this – so you can’t just think “Bingo, I’ve my work done.” So now I want these worksheets.
Create the worksheets with mixed conditional exercises.
1.If I weren’t so tired, I would have gone out tonight.
2.If I had known about the party, I would have gone.
3.If I had studied harder, I would have gotten a better grade.
4.If I had more money, I would have bought a new car.
5.If I had been invited, I would have gone to the wedding.
6.If I had been in the right place at the right time, I would have gotten the job.
7.If I had taken the bus, I would have been on time.
8.If I had known the answer, I would have said it.
1.If I hadn’t overslept, I would have caught the train.
2.If I had more time, I would have done more research.
3.If I had been paying attention, I would have seen the signs.
4.If I had remembered the date, I would have made the reservation.
5.If I had listened to my parents, I wouldn’t have made that mistake.
6.If I had been invited, I would have gone to the dinner.
7.If I had asked for help, I would have finished the project.
8.If I had taken the advice, I would have been successful.
This is where the issue may be between the keyboard and the chair. Perhaps my inputs were not accurate enough as these worksheets are just conversation pieces and don’t really offer much. These will need work and aren’t great, or really usable without extra work to mix them up with other activities. The “homework assignment” it mentions is of interest though, let’s see what it can come up with there.
Create the homework assignment
For this assignment, you will be creating mixed conditionals.
1. Write three sentences using the second conditional and mixed conditionals.
2. Write three sentences using the third conditional and mixed conditionals.
3. Create a dialogue between two people using mixed conditionals.
4. Write a story using mixed conditionals.
Remember to use correct grammar and punctuation when writing!
This is fair enough! It’s short enough that students might actually do it (…) and it even includes a little note at the bottom giving it more of a personality and even looks like it was written by a human. It could have given more detail though, especially part 4 because when students see ‘story’, how long is a piece of string? I’d definitely put limits on these depending on when their next class is.
So far it’s given me the guts of the lesson. I’d be interested to see what it can give me for teacher’s notes and two aims for the lesson. Depending on the school, some like one objective, where I am now, they like two aims, one primary and one secondary. Obviously primary is a firm understanding and use of mixed conditionals, but I’d be interested to see what the AI thinks a secondary aim would be in this lesson.
Create the teachers notes, including a primary and secondary aim for the lesson.
Primary Aim: To teach students how to construct mixed conditionals in speaking and writing.
Secondary Aim: To help students understand the form and structure of mixed conditionals, and to practice using them in context.
OK this isn’t bad. I’d prefer it aiming for something different in the secondary aim, such as students having greater confidence in their writing or dynamic conversation – something different from just the target grammar point of the lesson.
Suggested Activities: Introduce mixed conditionals by reviewing the different types of conditionals, and have students work in small groups to discuss what they know. For grammar focus, have students work in groups of three to label the clauses in each sentence, and practice creating their own mixed conditionals. For the listening activity, have students listen to a dialogue and complete a gap fill exercise with mixed conditionals. For the speaking activity, have students practice using mixed conditionals in speaking by forming pairs and role-playing conversations. For the wrap up, have students work in groups to create a summary of the lesson, and answer questions about mixed conditionals. For the homework, assign students to create mixed conditionals.
This suggested activities section I really like. It’s good ideas, it covers all the skills and would get students doing a mix of activities in class. But the big elephant in the room is, what about this listening exercise? So the computer can’t give me audio, so I’ll ask for a script.
Create the script for the listening exercise and the gap fill exercise.
Script for Listening Exercise:
Person 1: I can’t believe I forgot to buy tickets to the concert.
Person 2: It’s too bad you didn’t remember earlier. If you had, you would have been able to get them.
Person 1: I know. If I had known about it sooner, I would have bought them.
Person 2: Yeah, but now the show is sold out.
Person 1: That’s true. If I had checked the website, I would have seen that they were sold out.
Person 2: Yeah, but at least you have another chance next month.
B2 level? Painful to read that more like. Completely unnatural (not going to mention any coursebook here… at… all…) It’s extremely short and takes the best part of 30 seconds. For B2 I’d want a full length script and plenty of conversation as well as the target language.
Let’s see how it did with the gap fill, hopefully with some detail…
Gap Fill Exercise:
1.If I ____ remembered the date, I would have made the reservation.
2.If I ____ been paying attention, I would have seen the signs.
3.If I hadn’t ___ overslept, I would have caught the train.
4.If I ____ asked for help, I would have finished the project.
5.If I ____ taken the advice, I would have been successful.
6.If I ____ known the answer, I would have said it.
7.If I ____ been invited, I would have gone to the dinner.
8.If I ____ been in the right place at the right time, I would have gotten the job.
OK so the reason I asked the AI for the gap fill and the listening in one command was I had hoped that in doing so, it would be connected and linked. Alas, it is not, but sure it’s only a first try.
Well that was a pretty interesting first attempt and it shows the real power of what can be done with a few simple commands. It can write a lot in a very short space of time and does have an understanding of teaching and how a class would go. Now to have another go and see if the output is any different.
So my first input was identical to set the scene.
I am teaching 12 students, who are all adults between 20-35, English as a second language. Design a 3 hour lesson plan aimed at B2 on the CEFR, with the focus on mixed conditionals.
The output however, was very different this time around.
Sure (hang on, sure?! What do you mean sure? It’s a computer talking here right?), here’s a 3-hour lesson plan aimed at B2 on the CEFR, with the focus on mixed conditionals:
Introduction (20 minutes)
- Begin the class by asking your students if they have heard of mixed conditionals before. Ask them to share their knowledge about the topic and give some examples.
- Explain the concept of mixed conditionals, using examples to illustrate how they combine elements of both the second and third conditionals.
- Provide your students with some examples of mixed conditionals and ask them to identify the different elements in each one.
- Clarify any doubts or questions your students may have about mixed conditionals, and provide them with a handout or worksheet that summarizes the key concepts.
Practice (90 minutes)
- Divide your students into pairs or small groups and give them a set of mixed conditional sentences to complete.
- Encourage your students to use their knowledge of mixed conditionals to create their own examples and share them with the class.
- Play a game of “If…then…” with your students, where you provide them with the first part of a mixed conditional sentence and ask them to complete it.
- Provide your students with a set of mixed conditional scenarios and ask them to discuss how they would respond in each situation.
Review (30 minutes)
- Review the key concepts of mixed conditionals with your students and ask them to summarize what they have learned.
- Encourage your students to ask any final questions they may have about mixed conditionals.
- Give your students a short quiz or worksheet to assess their understanding of mixed conditionals.
Application (60 minutes)
- Provide your students with a writing prompt that requires them to use mixed conditionals.
- Ask your students to write a paragraph or short essay using the mixed conditionals they have learned.
- Provide feedback on your students’ writing and encourage them to continue practicing their mixed conditional skills outside of class.
Overall, this lesson plan should provide your students with a comprehensive overview of mixed conditionals and give them plenty of opportunities to practice their skills. By the end of the lesson, your students should be able to use mixed conditionals correctly and confidently in both speaking and writing.
OK so initial thoughts are there is some good, some bad, and some issues just plain wrong here. Also I’m quite surprised as the massive difference in output it has given me from one time to another. It definitely needs checked over for accuracy and …counting.
The good is that it looks good when you skim it – this looks like a nice, thought out lesson which would work well with the students. Then you start to read more into it.
First – have a look at the times – 180 minutes is 3 hours, however the AI has given me 200 minutes, so an extra 20 minutes of class – although that said, it is immediately easy to see where you could cut down on 20 minutes – as some of these activities and different sections of class are simply too long.
Also a 60 minute application after the 30 minute review section is the wrong way around, odd how it gave me that in the wrong order. Pobody is Nerfect as they say.
Create the handouts
Sure (I wish it would stop saying that), here are some handouts you can use for the mixed conditional lesson:
Handout 1: Mixed Conditionals
Mixed conditionals are a type of conditional sentence that combine elements of both the second and third conditionals. They are used to describe hypothetical or unreal situations in the past, present, or future. Here are some examples of mixed conditionals:
- If I had studied harder, I would be speaking English fluently now. (past unreal condition, present consequence)
- If I had gone to bed earlier last night, I wouldn’t be so tired now. (past unreal condition, present consequence)
- If I hadn’t missed the train this morning, I would have arrived on time. (past unreal condition, past consequence)
- If I were a millionaire, I would travel the world. (present unreal condition, present consequence)
- If she were more confident, she would have applied for the job. (past unreal condition, past consequence)
- If it rains tomorrow, I’ll stay home. (present real condition, future consequence)
- If you had told me earlier, I could have helped you. (past unreal condition, past consequence)
Notice how mixed conditionals combine elements of the second and third conditionals. The if clause uses the past tense to indicate an unreal or hypothetical condition, while the main clause uses a variety of tenses to describe the consequence of that condition.
OK this so far is very impressive.
Handout 2: Mixed Conditional Practice
Complete the following mixed conditional sentences using the appropriate verb tense.
- If I __________ (study) harder in high school, I __________ (get) into a better university.
- If you __________ (come) to the party last night, you __________ (meet) some interesting people.
- If I __________ (have) more time, I __________ (visit) my grandparents more often.
- If he __________ (practice) more, he __________ (play) the guitar better.
- If we __________ (not have) to work today, we __________ (go) to the beach.
- If I __________ (win) the lottery, I __________ (buy) a new car.
- If you __________ (not help) me, I __________ (not finish) the project on time.
Just like you would see in a textbook, nice so far. Not sure why it made 7 sentences, bit of a strange number, I do like even numbers but sure.
Handout 3: Mixed Conditional Scenarios
Read the following scenarios and discuss with your partner how you would respond in each situation.
- You are driving on the highway when you hear a loud noise from the engine. Suddenly, the car slows down and you have to pull over to the side of the road. What would you do if you were in this situation?
- You are at a job interview and the interviewer asks you a difficult question that you are not sure how to answer. You start to feel nervous and begin to stumble over your words. What would you do if you were in this situation?
- You are at a party and you see someone you haven’t seen in years. You want to talk to them, but you’re not sure if they will remember you. What would you do if you were in this situation?
- You are in a foreign country and you don’t speak the language very well. You need to buy a train ticket, but you’re not sure how to ask for one. What would you do if you were in this situation?
Remember to use mixed conditionals to describe hypothetical or unreal situations. For example, “If I were in this situation, I would…”
So far so good I think.
Create the mixed conditional scenarios, then create the short quiz
Sure, here are some mixed conditional scenarios and a short quiz to test understanding:
Mixed Conditional Scenarios:
- You’re a student who missed a crucial exam and failed the course as a result. You’re discussing this with a friend who asks you how things would be different if you had passed the exam. What do you say?
- You’re at a restaurant with a friend who is a vegetarian. You suggest ordering a pizza with meat toppings. They decline but later the pizza arrives and it has meat on it. What would your friend say to you if they were angry?
- You’re a worker at a factory where you operate heavy machinery. One day you accidentally damage one of the machines, resulting in a costly repair. What do you think your boss would say to you if they found out about the incident?
- You’re planning a trip to Europe but you’re not sure which countries to visit. You ask a travel agent for advice, but they recommend a country you’re not interested in. What would you say to the travel agent if you were in this situation?
Mixed Conditional Quiz:
- If I __________ (know) about the traffic jam, I __________ (take) a different route. a) knew / would take b) had known / would have taken c) know / will take d) had known / will take
- If I __________ (have) more money, I __________ (travel) more often. a) had / would travel b) have / will travel c) had / will travel d) have / would travel
- If I __________ (not lose) my phone, I __________ (not need) to buy a new one. a) had not lost / would not need b) did not lose / will not need c) had not lost / will not need d) did not lose / would not need
- If she __________ (study) harder, she __________ (get) a higher grade on the test. a) studies / gets b) studied / would get c) had studied / would have gotten d) has studied / will get
- If I __________ (not be) afraid of heights, I __________ (ride) that rollercoaster. a) am not / will ride b) was not / would ride c) were not / would ride d) had not been / would have ridden
- b) had known / would have taken
- a) had / would travel
- a) had not lost / would not need
- c) had studied / would have gotten
- c) were not / would ride
It gives an answer key as well, even though I didn’t ask for it, that’s quite cool. I’m not sure what I was expecting with the word quiz there. That to me is just a standard textbook exercise whereas I interpret the word quiz as a more fun thing – but sure that’s what Quizziz or Kahoot is for after all. I had it in my head there was going to be a more competitive/pub quiz type thing about it.
Create teachers notes
Lesson Objective: By the end of the lesson, students will be able to use mixed conditionals accurately in sentences and answer quiz questions correctly.
Materials: Handouts, whiteboard or blackboard, markers.
- Introduction (15 minutes):
- Greet students and ask how they are doing.
- Explain that the lesson will focus on mixed conditionals, which are a type of conditional sentence used to express imaginary or unlikely situations in the present or future.
- Review the handouts with the students, explaining the mixed conditional scenarios and giving examples of how they can be used.
- Presentation (60 minutes):
- Go over each mixed conditional scenario with the students, highlighting the key elements of each one.
- Ask students to work in pairs or small groups to come up with their own examples of mixed conditionals for each scenario.
- Write the students’ examples on the whiteboard or blackboard, and go over them with the class.
- Practice (60 minutes):
- Divide the class into pairs or small groups.
- Give each group a set of quiz questions to answer.
- Monitor the groups as they work and provide assistance as needed.
- After the groups have finished the quiz, go over the answers with the class.
- Review (15 minutes):
- Recap the key concepts of mixed conditionals.
- Ask students if they have any questions or if there is anything they would like to review.
- Conclusion (10 minutes):
- Thank students for their participation and effort.
- Encourage them to practice using mixed conditionals in their daily lives.
Assessment: Monitor the students as they work on the quiz questions, and provide feedback on their answers. Review their answers during the review phase of the lesson to ensure that they understand the concepts.
OK so we’re at 160 minutes for the notes, as opposed to 200 minutes for the previous one a few questions ago? Again, this might be user input error and it wasn’t referring to the previous lesson plan, or different commands used. The conclusion here seems a bit pointless to note here as well, I would do the review then have the craic with the students throughout and at the end of class, depending on when the next lesson is. It’s not the same as the previously mentioned lesson, so it looks like it’s created a new one, as opposed to extended notes on the activities which was what I was looking for. Again this could be command input error more than anything and I need to find a better way of asking it things.
Create one aim and one secondary aim for this lesson
Sure, here’s an aim and a secondary aim for this lesson:
Aim: By the end of this lesson, students will be able to use mixed conditionals accurately in sentences.
Secondary Aim: To encourage students to work collaboratively and share their ideas and examples of mixed conditionals with each other.
This is definitely more of what I’m looking for in these two sections, makes more sense and although the secondary aim is still very linked to the grammar point, the working collaboratively and share ideas feels like a more constructive terminology to use.
So this was just a first attempt at using the ChatGPT application while pretty much going in blind to it. It definitely does have a worth and will be a great way to help teachers, it’s just a case of finding the best way of commanding it to do specific things for specific times.
Have a go, try it out and see what you come up with. I think it has the possibility of being extremely powerful and more importantly, a great time saver for teachers. https://chat.openai.com for me now, it’s YouTube tutorials to see how to best manage it.
Next up, I want to see how it can take on the CAE writing….