I am a huge advocate of using the creative cycle in the PYP.  There has been criticism (sometimes deserved) that the three programmes of the IBO do not smoothly transition from one to the other.  At my school, our department decided to create smooth transitions, not only by having teachers working across programmes, but also by writing curricula that forms links. The Creative Cycle forms the core of the MYP programme, so shouldn’t it be included in the PYP’s transition to the MYP?

But how does one go about adding the Creative Cycle to a programme that doesn’t use criterion based assessments? There are two answers to that.  The first is very simple — The last two units in PYP are taught as if the kids were in MYP. They are placed in ensemble groups and need to work out tasks on their own.  This makes a really great Exhibition unit, since it’s a self-directed UOI anyhow.

Okay, now the harder answer.  Just take any task and break it into four parts: planning, working, fixing, and showing. Now, those are very, VERY basic words.  Just think of the “gist” of these words, and use your own.  Let me give you some sample ideas:

Creative Cycle Examples in the PYP

Grade 1 UOI: Members of communities share responsibilities.
Topic: Members of the Orchestra
Task: Put together a rhythm ensemble with three people and give everyone a job.
Planning: Together, write 2 bars of rhythms using non-traditional notation.
Practicing: Practice with your group.
Polishing: Have your teacher or TA video your group. Watch and see if there’s anything needing fixing.
Performing: Perform your composition for your class, then talk about who did what jobs and what their responsibilities were.

Grade 5 UOI: Composers are often inspired by nature and/or stories. (See poster on the right)
Topic: Programme Music
Task: Compose a piece of music in the style of Antonio Vivaldi
Planning: Brainstorming ideas for your poems; write 3 poems in rondeau form.
Practicing: Experiment with sounds in GarageBand. Choose 1 poem and compose music to go with it.
Polishing: Have friends and family listen and offer feedback. Respond to the feedback in both writing and in changes. Document your changes through screen captures and writing in your music book.
Performing: “Share” your music out to iTunes (using the Share button) and then add the music to your music book.  Do a final evaluation using the DeBono thinking hats.