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Conceptual understanding in the PYP

Cristina Milos teaches at Ambrit International School in Rome, Italy

This post is an excerpt from a post titled “A Question of Identity” by Cristina Milos. The full post explains the process of working through a unit of inquiry on identity and includes descriptions of learning engagements. This excerpt provides an insight into how one teacher helped her students to understand the meaning of the PYP key concept of perspective.

In order to help students understand perspective, Cristina undertook the following:


Conceptual understanding

  • Make three groups of students.
  • Provide 3 sets of photos, each set illustrating the same object but from a different perspective.
  • Question prompt: ‘What do these pictures have in common? What do you think the big idea is?’
  • The groups share their ideas; provide the key-word at the end (perspective) in case students do not know it.

You would be surprised how smart kids are. After initial struggles all three groups concluded that ‘perspective’ was the big idea.

To read the full post, outlining the entire unit process, visit Cristina’s blog here.

Kristina’s blog entry illustrates her work when she was working at another IB World School, the Mark Twain International School from Bucharest, Romania. She believes in children’s ability to co-construct knowledge and collaborate, and she finds the concept-driven curriculum approach one of the best pathways to authentic learning.

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