Action in the PYP

Taking action is an integral conclusion to the learning that incorporates students making connections to what they have learned, applying a variety of real life skills, demonstrating an enduring understanding through concepts and reflecting on the attributes of the learner profile and attitudes.

Action is best grounded in the students’ own concrete experiences and it can be a small thing that arises from a genuine concern and commitment. It is also noteworthy to understand that as action happens, it may not be witnessed by the teacher, frequently after a unit of inquiry has been completed and often takes place beyond the classroom.

At ISPP, we strive to provide students with opportunities to choose, to act, to decide on their actions and to reflect on these actions in order to make a difference – all of which are an integral part of the PYP. The actions students take in the elementary school will look different at each grade level and may require appropriate adult support in making choices and facilitating students’ efforts.

There are four forms of action in the Elementary School:




Direct Action

Person to person or person to environment

A student picks up liter even though he/she did not drop it.

Indirect Action

Person to community

A group of students or a class raises money from a ‘Bake Sale’ for an organization.


Creating an awareness

A student reminds his/her classmates to recycle waste paper or a group of students create a campaign to recycle and share that information.

Research for Action

Learning in action / action in learning

A student borrows a library book on his/her own to extend knowledge about something that was learned or pursues his/her own inquiry and shares with the class.

Regardless of which form of action students take, using the Action Cycle as indicated in the PYP helps students to initiate action by being both a problem finder as well as a problem solver. 


  • IBPYP Making the PYP Happen: A curriculum framework for international primary education (2009) Pg. 33
  • Taking the PYP Forward: The Future of the IB Primary Year Programme (2009)Edited by Simon Davidson and Steven Carber