“Write me a 5 week overview for a project-based experience for a mock election process that teaches students citizenship. Include the driving question, list of activities, final outcome, and potential community partners in San Diego, CA.”

That’s the prompt I just typed into ChatGPT. In less than 10 seconds I had my project outline.

As a 15+ year seasoned practitioner of PBL, I have to admit, it was pretty damn good.

Chat GPT helps save our most important asset as educators…TIME. It seems there’s never enough time to complete all the demands/tasks we are asked to complete as educators. We NEVER have enough of it.

And so we have put PBL on the “nice to get to someday” list.

Not anymore.

In an ideal world, we would be in collaborative planning teams; utilizing our colleagues’ strengths, talents, and subject expertise to plan learning experiences. But we almost never have that kind of time, or the structures in place to foster it.

Thank god for Chat GPT. It’s the next best thing. If you aren’t using Chat GPT, you are wasting invaluable time on things it can do for you. Here are 5 prompts to use in Chat GPT when planning a deeper learning experience for students:

1. “Give me four 5 week project ideas for [insert curriculum topic] that teaches [insert hoped understandings] for [insert age group].” This prompt will yield four results faster than you can blink your eyes. Choose the best one that fits your needs.

2.  After choosing the best project-based idea, give it a new prompt for the Driving Question. “Write a compelling Driving Question for [insert best project idea] that achieves these outcomes [insert 1-2 hoped outcomes].

3. Once you have the Driving Question and Project Synopsis, you are ready to plan the timeline of activities, lessons, learning experiences, simulations, etc. “Write me a simple overview of a 5 week timeline of [insert types of learning experiences] for the project listed above.”

4. Now for the part we always moan about teachers. Assessment. Get ready to be blown away. “Write me a one page project rubric that includes [insert major criteria/categories] in the form of “I can” statements for 5 levels, incorporating [insert set of curricular standards].

5. Finally, the curation of community partners. Curating and securing great community partners will certainly take time, but finding them just got a whole lot easier. “Find me 5 reputable non-profits, businesses or other local community partners to help in [insert project synopsis].

For those of you who know me well, you might be thinking…But wait Kyle, isn’t this kind of support your core business? Isn’t this what you do with forward thinking schools and educators on a regular basis? Won’t this put you out of a job?


Chat GPT is a COMPLIMENTARY partner to what I, and YOU do. Just as students still need a teacher to support them in reaching personal and project goals, teachers still need a coach to help them in implementation. And I am far happier to move into this role.

So how about you?

Are you using ChatGPT as a co-pilot to simplify your day to day planning and teaching? If so, I would love to hear how.

In the meantime, have fun planning your semeseter 2 project in less than 20 seconds.

P.S. I‘m considering a short webinar to share more details around how to use Chat GPT in tandem in PBL. Would you attend?

P.S.S. With U.S. elections on moving into full swing, a mock election is a perfect project to consider for next semester. Kirsten Dickey a year 5 teacher ran a ‘mock election’ project with incredible results. Learn more about her project here.