Purpose of this publication

The units of inquiry in this publication have been developed by Primary Years Programme (PYP) educators and trialled in IB World Schools. The examples included are intended to support teachers in developing and documenting units of inquiry from their own school’s programme of inquiry as well as those outside the programme of inquiry. Some of the units are based on central ideas documented in the PYP sample programme of inquiry included in Developing a transdisciplinary programme of inquiry (2008). Additional units, including subject-specific inquiries, will be added to this publication over time.

How to use this publication

An overview of the units of inquiry included can be found in the left-hand menu and specific units can be accessed through this overview. Once you select the unit you are interested in viewing, you will be presented with the context for learning, which includes details of the transdisciplinary theme, central idea, age group and a brief introduction to the school setting. Following this information you will find links to related sample materials available for this unit, for example, the completed PYP planner, assessment materials, images of student work, or video footage of planning, teaching and learning. Each related sample is accompanied by a brief description to inform viewing. Every unit concludes with a final comment where reference is made to future considerations indicating the next steps towards further development of this unit of inquiry.

Alternatively, you can use the following tags to search the units of inquiry. When you select a specific tag, you will be directed to a page that shows all the units relevant to the tag from where you can select the units you are interested in viewing.

Like all PYP planners, the examples in this publication should be viewed as works in progress, subject to ongoing modification and refinement. Developing units of inquiry in the PYP is a collaborative and reflective process, and these planners illustrate how a group of teachers constructed meaning in their particular context. In viewing these samples, it is important to note the comments that teachers have made when reflecting on their work, and to acknowledge that in every unit of inquiry there will be aspects that can be celebrated as well as areas that can be developed more fully. Teachers may implement any of the sample planners but are advised to modify them to reflect the uniqueness of their school’s programme of inquiry, the circumstances in which they are teaching, and the students with whom they are engaging.

The related sample materials included are presented close to their original format, which may include spelling, grammatical and other errors. These examples have been anonymized where necessary (names have been changed or deleted).

The International Baccalaureate (IB) is interested in adding further examples of units of inquiry to this site. Please contact for information on how to submit planners and related sample materials that you have been developing in your school.