A Design Thinking PYPx Story — Part 2

Chantelle Love
3 min readMay 9, 2023

In this chapter of our story, we find out about how we helped students develop their lines of inquiry, ask ungoogleable questions, start their blog and find human-centric resources.

  1. Facilitating students to develop their own lines of inquiry.

Developing lines of inquiry is hard work at the best of times (even for us adults). So, we modelled the process for students using some of the central ideas they had written. We began by breaking the central ideas into sections and mashing these up with various concepts — the mindset was playful; what might happen if I match A with B?

One example of splitting up a central idea.
Trying to match with the PYP concepts.
Turning a match into a statement.

We modelled this numerous times and asked students to interact multiple times before encouraging them to create their own.

2. Asking ungoogleable questions.

In the age of AI, ungoogleable question development is even more important. Thus, in addition to the basic KWL, we gave students the choice of one of the following processes to help them develop ungoogleable questions for their lines of inquiry:

  • The SQUID — This is a brilliant thinking tool when used correctly. It helps students ask deeper questions and uncover what they truly know about an inquiry.
  • Lotus Diagram — The lotus diagram is a useful tool for being able to see the breadth and complexity of an inquiry. By using the PYP concepts, students can ask a myriad of questions to find out pretty much anything about any line of inquiry.
  • The 5 Whys — This is a useful tool to unpack causation. If students already have quite a good knowledge of an inquiry, the 5 Whys can help them dig deeper into the potential causes of an issue. If students can only get to 3 whys, no problem! This is where they begin their research.

Once students have reached the nth of their thinking routine, they can fill in their KWL with one distinct difference; we split the ‘W’ (want to know) into two parts: googleable and ungoogleable questions.

3. Finding human-centric resources.

One of the benefits of splitting questions into googleable and non-googleable questions is that students are tilted towards finding information by talking to actual people. We asked students to complete the template below as a starting point:

We also taught students how to write formal emails and make formal phone calls so they were able to contact their mentors and interviewees in appropriate ways.

4. The blog.

Because we value the process of PYPx over the product, we wanted to ensure that the process received more air time than the big day.

Enter- blogging.

NB: This had a dual purpose as we wanted to ensure that students were familiar with the SY Online Portfolio template before they transition there.

We set up the blogs according to the major PYPx milestones, included a bunch of templates that students might use and ensured they had dedicated time to upload their thinking and conduct reflection each day.

The PYPx Contents Page
One of the thinking routines from Harvard Project Zero that we included in the Reflection page.

We were super-impressed with the content students included in their blogs — their reflections were honest, and witty, and included ATLs and Learner Profiles.

In the next chapter, read about what happens in the PYPx Learning Pit.