Introducing AI to Kindergarten

As a Kindergarten teacher, I have created a lesson incorporating the very basics of AI to introduce the concept.

I would begin by asking if any of my students have ever heard of AI and listen to their responses. I would then introduce a basic definition of what AI is.

AI is a program which is made to copy human behaviour and thinking. It uses information called data to learn and guide its decision making. AI is everywhere, from robots, to your parents’ mobile phones, even in video games.

I would then explain that we are going to do an activity to demonstrate how AI uses data to guide its thinking. I would then choose one student and model a game of tic tac toe with them to the class.

The students would then be split into pairs and have a go at playing a few rounds of tic tac toe together. I would ask them to think about why they are making the moves that they are making.

After the students have had some time to play a few games, I would bring them all back and discuss what they noticed about their thinking. Did they have a plan and follow it from the beginning? Did they have a plan that changed throughout the game? Did they respond to every move their opponent made and have no plan at all?

As a class, I would then guide them in creating a set of rules/guidelines which they think could win every time. For example, if you go first then go in a corner, then go in another free corner, then if they have two in a row, block them otherwise go for another free corner.

Explain that this is how AI works. They gather data/information from their experiences and change their rules/guidelines as they learn to become better and ‘smarter’.

Play a game of tic tac toe against AI on the smartboard

Try following your guidelines and see if you can win. Is there anything in your guidelines you would change?


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