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Integrating Generative AI in History Lessons: An Engaging Dive into D-Day Landings

Sixth Form
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Key Stage 4
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Chris Goodall

Head of Digital Education, Bourne Education Trust

In an innovative approach to enhance student engagement, a proof-of-concept history lesson utilised generative AI, specifically ChatGPT, to explore the D-Day landings of WW2. This method brought history alive, allowing students to interactively gather information, visually represent their learning, and critically evaluate both human and AI-generated content.

Given the limited resources about the direct application of AI within live lessons, an example history lesson was crafted to showcase the potential of generative AI in classroom engagement.

This example is purely for demonsration purposes.

Initial Engagement

The lesson began with ChatGPT assuming the role of a renowned WW2 historian. Students engaged in a live Q&A, utilising this virtual historian for research about the D-Day landings.

Empathy & Understanding

Shifting gears, ChatGPT then portrayed a soldier during the D-Day landings, describing sensations and experiences. This immersive narrative allowed students to craft their unique descriptions of the event.

Visual Representation

Students collaborated to convert their descriptions into prompts for an image generator. The resultant D-Day images, created through AI, fostered discussion and voting on the most accurate representation.

Critical Analysis

A blend of traditional teaching and AI assistance, students compared human-inferred biases from historical sources with those identified by the AI. This dual approach deepened their understanding of the challenges in interpreting history.

Evaluation & Reflection

Post discussions, students drafted answers to a set question about the D-Day landings. They contrasted their interpretations with an AI-modelled answer, identifying strengths and areas for enhancement.

Group Activities

A plenary session allowed students to assume various roles related to the D-Day landings, encouraging them to use ChatGPT to understand diverse perspectives.

Homework Assignment

Involving multi-modal assignments, students crafted a storyboard of the D-Day landings, integrating AI-generated dialogue and context.

The scenario in this case study is genuine and based upon real events and data, however its narration has been crafted by AI to uphold a standardised and clear format for readers.

Key Learning

Leveraging AI as an interactive tool elevates student involvement and curiosity.

Combining traditional teaching methods with AI prompts deeper understanding and critical thinking.

AI's role-playing capability provides personalised learning experiences, fostering empathy and a deeper connection to historical events.


While AI is a powerful tool, relying solely on it might dilute critical thinking and individual interpretation.

AI-generated content, though generally reliable, might not always be historically accurate.

AI's evaluation of bias needs to be transparent and comparable with human understanding to ensure proper learning.