In IB World Schools, there are several different iterations of “the cycles.”  In the PYP, you have the Inquiry Cycle.  In Design, you have the Design Cycle.  In the Arts, you have the creative cycle.  They are all slightly different while still having a focus on the process as being the most integral part of the assessment. In the MYP, process journals* are the primary tool through which the Cycles are documented.  

* Process journals used to be called Developmental Workbooks. However, changing the name to process journals made more sense because they focuse on the process. The Personal Project and DP Music also use process journals. 

A Rough Sketch

When the “Next Chapter” came out in 2014, I was not able to attend the training right away because I was on maternity leave. I read the guide and then made this sketch of the Creative Cycle.  I then sent it off with a colleague who was attending a “Next Chapter” workshop and asked if he could get it approved by the workshop leader. 

The Final Version

The workshop leader liked it. My MYP Coordinator liked it. Okay. Good to go. I then made up a 2 x 2 metres poster that I put opposite the doorway of my classroom, so it’s always the first visual students see when they walk in the door. It’s also a great conversation starter for potential parents who are touring the school.

How does this work in the classroom?

Let’s look at my grade 7’s protest unit.

1. What is a protest song?

2. What are some of the issues that have inspired protest songs?

3. What are some of the best protest songs and performers? 

4. Perform a protest song as a whole class activity (this teaches instruments to new students. wink.). Analyse the song as a whole class. 

5. Get into groups. Research which issue they’d like to study and which songs are linked to that.

6. Plan (Criterion Ci: Artistic Intention). 

7. Practice. Progress videos. Writing down feedback given.  Reflections. Repeat. Repeat.

8. Perform a final video.

9. Create a final presentation (movie, paper, PPTX, etc.) that includes research into their social issue (Aii & Di), information about their song (Ai & Aiii), their final evaluation (Dii & Diii), and their reflections (Cii & Ciii). 

See? We’ve circled back to A again. 

Now, to continue that cycle, we could do a second creative cycle in which we compose our own protest song.  One creative cycle creates another creative cycle. We take what we’ve learned from one and apply it to another.

Learning is cyclical and never ending.