PYP Units of Inquiry

For the past 9 years, I have worked as a PYP Visual Art teacher. I taught in 3 different schools in two different countries. During that time I taught in International Baccalaureate (IB) schools in the Primary Years Program (PYP). I personally loved it. It gave me the freedom to explore art through thematic topics across time and space as well as subject areas. Not everyone was always on board and to be honest, it’s a lot of work for both teachers and students but in my opinion, it makes learning a lot more interesting.

One of the problems that I continued to run into when working with other PYP teachers is their lack of understanding that art can be explored through so many of the unit themes. There are six Unit themes in the PYP: Who We Are (WWA), Sharing the Planet (STP), How We Express Ourselves (HWEO), Where We Are in Place and Time (WWAPT), How We Organize Ourselves (HWOO), and How the World Works (HTWW). Under each theme, there are descriptors that are used to formulate a Central Idea. For example,

WWA: An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social, and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

Central Idea: Our individual characteristics make a contribution to our community.

As a Visual Art teacher, I look at this and I immediately think about how different artists such as painters, muralists, architects, landscape architects, etc. contribute to the community.

Here is another one.

Central Idea: Individual choices contribute to personal well-being.

This makes me think about the physical, mental, social, and spiritual activities that we do such as playing instruments or sports, reading, or of course creating art. It’s about our personal preferences and why we enjoy doing them.

With that being said, I enjoy working in this way. It engages my thinking on many different levels and encourages me to want to learn more about things I might not have considered.

This week as part of organizing my files on YouTube and Pinterest, I created six posters for each of the PYP Units of Inquiry (UOI) and added them to my TPT shop. They are also linked to my YouTube playlists which I continue to add to as I find more information.

I am still working on organizing and creating new content but I am happy with the progress so far.

Goals for this week:

  • Make posters for Approaches to Learning in relation to visual art.
  • Organize Read Alouds Playlist on YouTube into categories for lessons.
  • Organize PYP Pinterest Boards into each theme and divide them into descriptors.