One of the most tedious tasks a teacher endures is lesson plan creation. Some draconian school districts make teachers turn in lesson plans. It’s such a contentious issue that school unions make it a plank in their platform. What if you could turn this tedious task into a fun exploration of the possible? Now, with AI-powered lesson plan generators, that’s easy to do. Let’s explore my top five lesson plan generators.
Did You Know?
Have you read the blog entry, Prompts for Lesson Planning with ChatGPT? Get access to an editable prompt template and a variety of prompts for several content areas.
A Quick Checklist
Wish you had a checklist to assess these AI lesson plan generators? Here’s a checklist I came up with that outlines what I’m looking for in these tools. You may be looking for something different, so feel free to customize the checklist for your own use.
Checklist items on my list include:
- No account creation necessary. Who wants to create yet another account?
- Single sign-on (SSO). If login is required, will it allow me to sync up to Google or Microsoft?
- Copy and paste. Is it easy to copy the lesson plan format to another doc or platform (e.g. Google Docs, MS Word, etc.)?
- TEKS alignment. Does this lesson plan document sync with state or national standards?
- Lesson plan format. Is the generated lesson plan organized into elements included in traditional lesson formats?
Many lesson plan formats follow Madeline Hunter’s lesson elements. You might expect to see some of these elements in the lesson plans AI tools can generate.
When possible, I used a prompt similar to the one that appears below to test each of these AI lesson plan generators:
Write a lesson plan for Texas sixth grade classroom that addresses the following TEKS:
The student understands the factors that influence the locations and characteristics of locations of various contemporary societies on maps and/or globes. The student is expected to:
(A) identify and explain the geographic factors responsible for patterns of population in places and regions;
(B) explain ways in which human migration influences the character of places and regions;
(C) identify and locate major physical and human geographic features such as landforms, water bodies, and urban centers of various places and regions; and
(D) identify the location of major world countries for each of the world regions.
While a bit long, it worked quite well in some instances. In others, it wasn’t even an option. You can see the results of the lesson plan generators in this Google Doc. The verdict? Claude.ai did the best of them all.
This free AI-powered website is easy to use and the interface is straightforward, as you can see below:
One distinguishing feature? The use of a Bloom’s Taxonomy Selection showcases a variety of verbs:
The website makes it easy to copy your lesson plan into your device’s clipboard. At that point, you can paste it into a word processor for further editing/revision. The history, civics, and geography subjects are limited to India, so you won’t get US-relevant lessons for those. Science, math, and English are other topics available.
A little bit more robust than the option above, you can see examples for all grade levels (K-12). In order to see the full lesson plan, you must create an account, but you can create an account using a Google login or sign up via email.
As you might expect, ChatGPT does a nice job generating lesson plans. One of the best features of ChatGPT, aside from ease of use, is how it groups activities and offers a time range for each.
For example, a “locating Major Historical and Contemporary Societies” activity takes about 15 minutes. You can see some of the key expectations below:
Locating Major Historical and Contemporary Societies (15 minutes)
- Distribute world maps and globes to the students.
- Review latitude and longitude and how they are used to determine absolute location.
- Teach the students how to locate various major historical and contemporary societies on the maps and globes.
- Have the students practice locating and labeling these societies on their own.
One problem with the ChatGPT lesson plans is that they may mention handouts, templates, and worksheets without providing them to you. Of course, you can find a variety of worksheets (e.g. latitude and longitude handout) online. See my full prompt and what ChatGPT generated.
And, again, be sure to check out this blog entry on lesson plan prompts for ChatGPT.
This AI works quite well. You can attach up to five files of 100 mb each, including PDF and TXT. When asked to generate a lesson plan, what it came up with actually referenced specific TEKS. Claude divided the lesson plan in these ways:
- Lesson Title
- TEKS Addressed
While it could have provided a little more information on assessments, it’s an easy item to follow-up on. I prompted Claude.ai with this:
Come up with two exit ticket sets of questions that address these TEKS:
6.2A – Locate various major historical and contemporary societies on maps and globes using latitude and longitude to determine absolute location
6.2B – Identify and explain geographic factors responsible for patterns of population in places and regions
6.2C – Explain ways human migration influences the character of places and regions
6.2D – Identify and explain factors responsible for the location of economic activities in places and regions
6.2E – Draw sketch maps that illustrate various places and regions
And, it generated the following:
Exit Ticket Set 1
- Using latitude and longitude, locate two major societies on a world map. (6.2A)
- Explain two geographic factors that lead to population patterns in Asia. (6.2B)
- How has migration from rural to urban areas influenced the character of cities? Explain. (6.2C)
- What are two factors that determine where manufacturing facilities are located? (6.2D)
Exit Ticket Set 2
- Label the following items on a world map: The Sahara Desert, Mount Everest, Rio de Janeiro, Cairo. (6.2A)
- How does access to fresh water impact population patterns? Explain. (6.2B)
- Give one example of how immigration has shaped the culture of a place or region. (6.2C)
- Why are major seaports often located where they are? What geographic factors determine their location? (6.2D)
- Draw a simple sketch map of Europe, labeling at least 5 countries. (6.2E)
Again, what I like about this is how Claude labeled the items. It tied each exit ticket question to a specific TEKS.
The AutoClassmate website offers some great AI-powered tools. They describe their service in this way:
The Auto Classmate AI-Powered Lesson Plan Generator will enable you to create a highly-customizable, editable, and unique Lesson Plan to implement in your classroom.
The Lesson Plan Generator allows you to easily align your lesson plan with state standards with the click of a button. Powered by OpenAI’s GPT-4, this lesson planning tool will revolutionize the way you create content for your classroom.
After using our AI Lesson Planning tool, you will also be able to have conversations about your lesson plan with our AI-Powered Instructional Coach Chatbot.
As you can see, it offers the ability to align lessons to state standards. You can see what the GPT-3.5 version comes up with. The GPT-4 version requires an account, and pricing is $10 a month.
Other Lesson Plan Generators
More lesson plan generators are appearing every single day. Here are a few more teacher-recommended AI lesson plan generators for your consideration.
Please be aware that they may have free trials but could cost money for extended usage.
You can continue to track available tools via the chatGPT for Teachers Facebook group. A few other groups to explore include ChatGPT and AI for Educators, AI Tools for Education, ChatGPT Teachers: AI Tips and Tricks for Educators. Which AI lesson plan generator will you try first?