Concepts vs. Topics: What’s the Difference?

Today in class we discussed the difference between a concept and a topic.  After some discussion, we came up with the following ideas…


So basically, concepts are big ideas that are timeless, universal, and can relate to many of our subjects at school, whereas topics are more about specific times, people, things and places.

We then had an in-depth discussion about the following image – is Dinosaurs a concept or a topic? Have a look at the drawing and decide…

dinosaur analogy

We decided that as dinosaurs are not timeless, nor universal, they are a topic.  We also brainstormed possible concepts that could be studied in relation to dinosaurs, and we came up with ideas such as evolution and change.  Cool huh?

Finally, have a look at some of the words below. Concepts are listed on the left, whereas topics are listed on the right. Keep an eye out for more big ideas and ask your teachers what key concepts you will be learning about this year!

concepts vs topics

Image credit: IBO MYP Language and Literature Guide (Next Chapter)


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