AI For Kindergarten

Quick Draw Lesson for Kindergarten



This year I am teaching a class of 20 Kindergarten students. Many love to draw and are learning how to use their illustrations as a stimulus for writing, or to support the meaning of their written text.

To introduce the concept of AI to my students I have chosen to build a lesson around drawing, using the Quick, Draw! game by Google. Quick Draw asks users to draw a picture and the AI has to guess what it is.

To begin with, I would show the students parts of illustrations (a few drawn lines only) from familiar illustrations such as part of The Cat in the Hat by Doctor Seuss, Humpty Dumpty or maybe a few features of Pikachu.  I would ask them to guess the character.

After they guessed at each one, I would ask them:

  • How did you know it was that character?
  • Did you think it was something else at first and then change your mind?
  • When did you know it was that character?
  • Why might student A have recognised the picture before student B?

I would lead them to the understanding that more (higher frequency of) exposure to the illustrations would allow them to predict the answer before all was revealed, and as more was revealed that they could check and confirm/deny their prediction. I would explain how they used their thinking or their intelligence to work it out.

After that, I would provide a definition of AI to my students. Using the following quote as a reference:

“The basic definition of AI is simply when a computer is able to perform tasks that normally a human would perform,” says tech integration specialist Deb Norton.

I would tell my students that AI stands for Artificial Intelligence which means a computer is doing a job that humans usually do using their own thinking or intelligence to know how to do it.

Next, I would model the game before inviting students to play it in small groups using our interactive devices. During this time, I would rove to observe and make notes of interactions. After each team member had had a turn, we would form a circle to reflect on the experience.

Using questioning, I would lead the students to link their experience earlier in the lesson with the computer’s responses in the game.

Then, I would explain how the program stores patterns from having hundreds or thousands of examples of a drawn object. I might even show them part of the video clip about doodles of cats building up a bank of information. I would finish the lesson by explaining the more data AI collects, the more informed its guesses or reasoning become.


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