5 Innovative ChatGPT Prompts to Engage History Students

5 Innovative ChatGPT Prompts to Engage History Students

In an era where technology has infiltrated every facet of life, some argue that integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education is no longer a novelty but a necessity. An innovative AI model like ChatGPT has been making impressive strides in redefining classroom dynamics, especially in subjects as multi-dimensional as history. By weaving compelling narratives and sparking thoughtful discussions, it has the potential to breathe life into the static pages of history textbooks.

However, like all technological advancements, AI brings a mix of anticipation and apprehension. Some educators worry about the potential dehumanisation of education, the risk of over-reliance on technology, and the challenges tied to privacy and security. However, when employed thoughtfully, AI like ChatGPT can be an invaluable teaching tool rather than a replacement for teachers.

ChatGPT can help animate the complexities of history, from civilisational shifts to revolutions, conflicts, and resolutions. Doing so can ignite curiosity, improve information retention, and make history a riveting journey through time for our history students.

But as we read through the various discussions online, we often encounter teachers asking how to use ChatGPT in their classroom positively. Below we have created 5 ChatGPT prompts ideas that can make history lessons more captivating. Remember, the ChatGPT prompts we suggest below can be tweaked to fit your curriculum, the student’s learning styles, and the complexity of the historical events. For instance, if you’re teaching younger students, the language of the prompts can be simplified to match their comprehension level. Simple commands such as ‘write simple language for a 12-year-old middle school student’ or ‘write at an ILETS level 4’ allows for a more tailor-made response. Asking ChatGPT to limit its response to 50 words can also help students that are not strong readers.

Making modifications, often through trial and error, can ensure that ChatGPT remains an inclusive and adaptable tool in our educational toolbox. IA, such as ChatGPT, can make history come alive for every student, regardless of their learning style or knowledge level. AI can cater to the visual learner who thrives on vibrant descriptions, the auditory learner who benefits from discussing and debating, and the tactile/kinesthetic learner who learns by doing, in this case, writing their own historical events.

5 Suggested Prompts

1. ‘Act as a Historical Figure’ Prompt

Engage students in stimulating conversations with their favourite historical figures. Use prompts like:

● “Pretend you are Abraham Lincoln explaining the reasons behind the Emancipation Proclamation.”
● “Imagine you are Cleopatra. Describe your daily life and ruling strategies in Ancient Egypt.”

These prompts can help students gain a deeper understanding of historical personalities and the decisions they make. “Act as a Historical Figure” prompts can be adjusted to include ‘tell me more about your relationship with your family’ or ‘describe the food you would eat in a day’. Being more specific with your prompts can allow students to gain a deeper understanding of your chosen historical personality.

2. ‘Historical Debate Events’ Prompt

Encourage critical thinking and public speaking skills with prompts encouraging students to debate historical events and/or write an essay. For example:

● “Discuss the pros and cons of the Industrial Revolution from the perspective of a factory owner and a factory worker.”
● “You are a supporter/opponent of the American Revolution. Debate your stance by giving 3 supporting arguments.”

These prompts can help students better grasp the gravity of historical events and appreciate the circumstances of those times. ‘Time-travel Journalist’ prompts can focus on less politically charged and more interesting events, like the invention of the telephone or the first moon landing.

3. ‘Time-travel Journalist’ Prompt

Turn your students into time-travelling journalists with prompts like:

● “You are a journalist covering the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Report on the event and its implications.”
● “You are a reporter witnessing the Fall of the Berlin Wall. Write an eye-witness account.”

These prompts can help students better grasp the gravity of historical events and appreciate the circumstances of those times. ‘Time-travel Journalist’ prompts can focus on less politically charged and more interesting events, like the invention of the telephone or the first moon landing.

4. ‘Predict the Future’ Prompt

Combine history and creativity with prompts that challenge students to predict the future based on past events. For instance:

● “If World War One had not happened, what would the world be like today?”
● “If Queen Elizabeth I had not been Queen of England, what would the world look like today?”

These exercises can enhance students’ analytical skills and deepen their understanding of historical cause-effect relationships. for advanced students or those particularly keen on historical analysis, prompts can be made more complex. The ‘Predict the Future’ prompts can ask for hypotheticals based on sophisticated political manoeuvres or socio-economic shifts, like predicting the implications of the Cold War on modern-day digital surveillance.

5. ‘Create Your Historical Event’ Prompt

Encourage creativity and original thinking with prompts that allow students to create their own historical events, such as:

● “You live during the time of the Wild West. Write a historical event involving a clash between cowboys and native tribes.”
● “Imagine you’re in the medieval period. Describe a major event that could change the course of history.”

These prompts can stimulate students’ imagination and cultivate a sense of empathy towards different perspectives and cultures. The ‘Create Your Historical Event’ prompt can be modified to encourage a deeper understanding of less explored cultures, like creating an event during the reign of the Aztec Empire or the Mali Kingdom.

In Summary

As we navigate the new world in which we have found ourselves, the infusion of AI into history education is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, there’s the worry of diluting the humanistic essence of teaching, coupled with potential privacy concerns. On the other hand, incorporating tools like ChatGPT can open doors to an interactive, immersive, and innovative learning experience.

While the apprehensions are valid, it is essential to remember that AI is here to aid and not replace human teachers. As we embrace the future of education, it is up to us as educators to leverage these advancements wisely, ensuring they enrich the learning environment without overshadowing our role as teachers. With AI in our educational arsenal, we can transform the teaching of history into a lively discourse, fostering critical thinking and cultural empathy in our students.

What do you think? Do you use ChatGPT or other AI platforms in your classroom? If so, we would love to hear what you use and how. If not, do you think you will use AI in your classroom in the future? Would you like to read more articles about how to use different AI tools in your history classroom?

You need to have an account in order to download


Resource Information

Description:NO DOWNLOAD NEEDED. These ChatGPT prompts can be modified to suit all topics, ages and learning goals.
Estimated lessons:1-2.
AgesAll ages.
Format N/A

What are you teaching?

Don't Babylon with last-minute lesson plans, explore our catalogue today.