The History and Evolution of AI

The following lesson idea is how I would introduce AI and it’s history to an upper primary class.

Engage (5 mins)

Explain the learning outcomes and success criteria for the lesson.

Learning outcome: to understand where artificial intelligence started, what AI is, and how AI has evolved over the years.

Success Criteria: students should be able to, at the end of the lesson, engage in small group and whole class discussions, highlight and summarise important information, and present information to the class.

Ask students to turn and talk to the student next to them and discuss what they think AI is. Listen to their responses before moving onto the next part of the lesson.

Explore (15-20 mins)

Using the following website,, organise students into groups so that each group has a year to investigate.

Get students to read through the article and highlight and summarise the important information in the article. Once finished, get students to come back in their groups present their important information to the rest of the class.

Explain (5-10 mins)

Facilitate a discussion with the class following the presentation. Highlight how it is the aim of AI to mimic human capabilities such as talking, writing, thinking, reasoning and making decisions. Reinforce who Alan Turing is, that he is the pioneer of AI and how he developed an AI machine which was used during world war 2.

Elaborate (10-15 mins)

Divide the class into groups for a game. The game is called “bot or not”. Students have to decide if the poem has been written by a computer or a human. There are 10 questions, teams get a point if they get the answer correct. The game can be found on the following website:

Evaluate (5 mins)

Recap with the students what they have gone through in the lesson, and refer back to the learning outcomes and success criteria.


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