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Developing easy and engaging tools to support classroom teaching

Development of supplementary products to help educators use a set of story books in their primary years classroom

In the beginning...

Ten Tales from Different Cultures is a set of illustrated and captivating stories from different cultures published by the International Baccalaureate(IB) in 2013. They had been received very well but new teachers struggled to find ways include them in their classroom teaching in a way that aligned with the principles and guidelines of Primary Years Programme by IB.

User needs and the product discovery phase

To make these wonderfully illustrated books more helpful to the PYP community and also to reinvigorate the sales, I conducted desk and primary research through surveys and interviews with educators. IB educators always need more examples of how the curriculum manifests in everyday learning.

Showing exactly (in the TEN TALES teaching material) how to connect units to themes, key concepts, and attitudes is the missing piece for most schools. ‘-An IB librarian

Competition and market analysis

There are story books which are used in PYP classrooms the world over but there are not many with supportive materials to connect them with themes, units and concepts of the PYP curriculum framework. We needed supportive materials that would make Ten Tales from different cultures more current with PYP, relevant and easily connect to different Units of Inquiry and Transdisciplinary themes in the PYP classroom context and make the entire Ten Tales pack better than the competition.

Product concept 

I proposed tools to expand this resource and to help connect these stories to Unit of Inquiry’s’ in PYP classroom by bringing out the themes, key concepts and the attitudes ( IB elements) in them. The two products in this proposed expansion were:

  • A set of cards with imagery from the Ten tales connecting to different activities for classroom. 3 cards for each story; initially printed  but digital and downloadable was a future possibility.
  • Illustrated posters that connect characters of the stories to different attributes of the learner profile. This will help in better understanding of attributes and reinforcing them through the recognizable characters of the stories. Printed version to be launched first but downloadable PDF version also possible in future. 

User feedback to the product concept

To get a quick validation on the concept, a post sharing the product idea was posted on one of the PYP teacher group on Facebook. The feedback and reception to this was very positive and some users already asked where they could buy these resources.

Product design and development

To be able to get the right content and visual quality for this product, I worked with a creative agency and pedagogical experts. Multiple iterations of content and illustration adaptations of the originals later, we finalised on our prototypes that are shown below.

Card deck

 

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