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Lesson Plan Format: 5E Instructional Model

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What is a 5E instructional model?

This model describes a teaching sequence that can be used for entire programs, specific units and individual lessons. Energy4me lesson plans support the 5E constructivist learning cycle, helping students build their own understanding from experiences and new ideas.

The 5Es represent the five stages of a sequence for teaching and learning: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaboration and Evaluate. The 5E model was developed by The Biological Science Curriculum Study (BSCS).


Pique students’ interest and get them personally involved in the lesson while pre-assessing prior understanding.
Students are introduced to the instructional task during the ENGAGE stage. They make connections between past and present learning experiences and think about what they’ll learn during the upcoming activities. Energy4me activities are designed to ENGAGE students. Through activities and experiments, the lesson plans stimulate students’ curiosity and encourage them to ask their own questions.


Get students involved in the topic so they can develop their own understanding. 
EXPLORATION experiences provide students activities that help them identify and improve upon current concepts (i.e., misconceptions), processes and skills. Learners have hands-on fun in lab activities that help them use prior knowledge to generate new ideas, explore questions and possibilities, and design and conduct a preliminary investigation. The teacher acts as a facilitator, providing materials and guiding the students’ focus.


Provide students with an opportunity to communicate what they have learned and figure out what it means. During the EXPLAIN stage, students begin to communicate what they have learned by demonstrating their conceptual understanding, process skills or behaviors. Students share ideas with each other and with their teacher, who provides an explanation of the curriculum that is meant to guide them toward a deeper understanding. These segments introduce vocabulary in context and correct or redirect misconceptions.


Allow students to use their new knowledge and continue to develop a deeper and broader understanding. 
During the ELABORATION stage, students expand on the concepts they have learned, make connections to other related concepts and apply their understandings to the world around them through additional activities. Teachers challenge and extend students’ conceptual understanding and skills.


Asses how much learning has taken place.
The EVALUATION phase helps students and teachers assess how much learning and understanding has taken place. It allows teachers to evaluate student progress toward achieving the educational objectives.

*Evaluation and assessment can occur at any point during the instructional process.