The PYP Exhibition

In October I attended the PYP Exhibition workshop at my school. So here are some of my notes!

Books to Look at:

Videos to Watch:

Getting to the Topic

Questions like “What is your passion?” and “What is a good question about that passion?” cause paralysis because they are very big single answer questions. Try instead

Alternatives to the word “passion”

  • What are your talents?
  • What engages you?
  • What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
  • What do you do that causes you to lose time?
  • Are there topics you find yourself arguing about or defending?
  • What ways do you enjoy helping people?

Then ask:

  • What are the opportunities in front of you?
    • This allows you to see what you are passionate about now and what is right in front of you to allow you to achieve that passion.
  • What are the values that you care about?


One of the things that came up during the training was that there are several ways to do the Exhibition.

Guided – where a student is working with more teacher guidance. Possibly a student with special needs, a student new to the PYP or a new to English learner who will need more scaffolding and support. These students may have only one line of inquiry for example.

Engaged – this is where students are working in a more traditional exhibition model. In a small group with a teacher mentor being guided through the whole process.

Self-Directed – Where a student/s who needs very little assistance, who is ready to run their exhibition at near independence. Needing help from only occasional mentor and teacher meetings.


Action Harvest Idea – Have all students think of three possible action ideas for every central idea. Then have them share these with the teams/students working on those central ideas. This gives these groups many action ideas to choose from.

Then once a student/group decided on an action they develop an Action Proposal. This proposal would be complete with success criteria that the group/student sets. This gives the teacher a clear point from which to assess the action.

Create a tracking sheet for a child to document their progress. I can imagine something very similar to what COETAIL is using with me. It allows me to post my evidence, my teacher to give me feedback, and for us both to communicate through the comments.

Classroom Ideas

Have students even in Kindergarten look at the POI for the whole school, with modifications. Get them to state what units they are looking forward to learning about. Ask them what they need to know/achieve first in order to be able to study that unit.

Ask G5 students what makes a good central idea? Have students analyze some of the school’s central ideas. Then they can create a list of what makes a good central idea and what doesn’t. Then they can use this list to check their PYPX Central Ideas.

Ask students to predict what behaviors they are likely to see in a lesson. (Page 29 Making the PYP Happen). Then at the end ask them what behaviors they actually saw/used.

  • exploring
  • wondering
  • questioning
  • experimenting
  • playing with possibilities
  • making connections
  • making predictions
  • acting purposefully
  • collecting data
  • reporting findings
  • clarifying existing ideas
  • reappraising perceptions of events
  • deepening understanding
  • making theories
  • testing theories
  • researching and seeking information
  • taking and defending a position
  • solving problems in a variety of ways.

Parent Link

Ask parents to ask their child questions about the Exhibition through the lens of the concepts.


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