What is 5E Model of Instruction & Role of Students and Teachers

What is the 5E Model lesson Plan?

An inquiry-focused [5E Model] method allows students to connect scientific ideas to their experiences and apply their learning. Think back to the last scientific class you instructed. Over the duration of 50 minutes, it most likely included a variety of elements, including a film, a brief lecture, an evaluation, a conversation, or a demonstration. What exactly was each of the parts? Did your pupils interact in small groups to discuss a question? Was there a class-wide discussion? Did you provide a novel idea? How did you present these elements in order? Why did you choose what happened first? What is the best sequence for the exercises in a science class that uses inquiry-based learning?

Engage Students Quoricity

An instructional plan that encourages students to use their curiosity to ask questions, investigate solutions to socio-scientific problems, use evidence-based explanations to support their reasoning, elaborate on potential effects, evaluate their findings, and predict potential outcomes based on various variables is necessary when teaching science using an inquiry approach. In inquiry science, students face cognitive challenges as they work on real-world issues while learning relevant material, honing their deductive reasoning, and expressing their thoughts.

The 5E educational model is one strategy for inquiry science (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate). The 5E model is a planning tool for inquiry education that gives students a framework for making connections between scientific concepts and their personal experiences and applying what they have learned to new situations. The 5E approach, which consists of five stages, aids teachers in creating a progression of cogent and interesting learning experiences for pupils.

How The 5e Model Works


Short exercises are used by the teacher to encourage inquiry. To dispel any misunderstandings and get students ready for new learning, the activity must link existing knowledge to new learning experiences. The best approaches to engage students and discover their past knowledge or any preconceptions that can obstruct the construction of new information are through novel questions, inconsistent occurrences, demonstrations, or a strong visual. Students connect their previous and present learning experiences using their prior knowledge to make new concepts relevant.

It’s not necessary for the engagement phase to take place during class. It may be set up as a homework project where students would read an article on the upcoming new subject, look around a website, watch a video, or respond to a question based on past knowledge.

For example: Why are acidic drinks stored in a cold place?


As students try to study a topic, a lab inquiry or hands-on activities are typically offered at this stage. Before new terminology or concepts are given in the Explain phase, students can determine what they need to know by identifying the conflicting ideas, queries, and confusion that are widespread.

Encourage students to think of the following questions:

  • What is the problem I am trying to solve?
  • What do I need to find out?
  • What do I know already?

Students are provided with two identical soda cans, a bottle opener, hot water, and an ice bath. Students perform the activity in pairs or groups, write down their observations, and discuss their results in the group.

For example: Which soda, the warm or the cold one, had more dissolved carbon dioxide? List all the ways that you know.


Students describe the ideas they investigated in the earlier phase with the teacher’s supervision and show that they have a grasp of the newly presented words. To clear up any misunderstandings or queries during the Explore stage, teacher-led teaching may be required depending on the subject and grade level. Learning may become more interactive, participative, and meaningful when questions are asked.

Students describe the topics they investigated in the previous phase and demonstrate their grasp of the new words introduced with the help of the teacher. Depending on the subject and grade level, teacher-led teaching may be required to address any misunderstanding or concerns raised during the Explore phase. Questions may make learning more meaningful, dynamic, and participative.

For example: What is the best way to store an opened bottle of soda so that it doesn’t go flat quickly?


Prior to an evaluation in the last step of the 5E model, students broaden their conceptual understanding as they solve a problem in a new setting and apply their knowledge to new experiences. Activities that need elaboration might be done in class or as homework assignments.

For Example Decompression sickness (DCS) occurs when divers swim to the surface too quickly (rapid ascent). What causes DCS to occur?


Students assess their education and present evidence of their grasp of fundamental ideas. Evaluation isn’t only confined to tests and quizzes. It might be a final paper, poster, booklet, journal article, presentation, or another type of output.

For example: In your opinion, why do fish wash ashore on hot summer days?

Many power plants condense steam by pumping cool river or lake water around the steam pipes. The steam cools and condenses as its heat is transferred to the water, which is then returned to the river or lake. What impact does this warm water have on the fish in the lake or river?

Without being aware of the formal structure of the 5E model, you could be utilizing these components. Think over the aforementioned stages and recall the experiments you prepared for your most recent science session. Which element do you consider to be an engaging activity? Explore? Explain? How accurately does the proposed order correspond to the 5E model?

The goal isn’t to plan every science lesson according to the 5E model—it’s to consider the order and sequence of activities to align with the model to maximise student learning.

Summary of the 5E Instructional Model Engagement

The teacher or a curriculum task accesses the learners’ prior knowledge and helps them become engaged in a new concept through the use of short activities that promote curiosity and elicit prior knowledge. The activity should make connections between past and present learning experiences, expose prior conceptions, and organize students’ thinking toward the learning outcomes of current activities.


Exploration experiences provide students with a common base of activities within which current concepts (i.e., misconceptions), processes, and skills are identified and conceptual change is facilitated.  Learners may complete lab activities that help them use prior knowledge to generate new ideas, explore questions and possibilities, and design and conduct a preliminary investigation.


The explanation phase focuses students’ attention on a particular aspect of their engagement and exploration experiences and provides opportunities to demonstrate their conceptual understanding, process skills, or behaviours. This phase also provides opportunities for teachers to directly introduce a concept, process,  or skill. Learners explain their understanding of the concept. An explanation from the teacher or the curriculum may guide them toward a deeper understanding, which is a critical part of this phase.


Teachers challenge and extend students’ conceptual understanding and skills. Through new experiences, the students develop a deeper and broader understanding, more information, and adequate skills. Students apply their understanding of the concept by conducting additional activities.


The evaluation phase encourages students to assess their understanding and abilities and provides opportunities for teachers to evaluate student progress toward achieving educational objectives.

Teacher’s Role and Actions in the 5E Teaching Model







Consistent with Model

Inconsistent with Model

  • Explains concepts prematurely
  • Provides definitions and answers
  • States conclusions
  • Provides answers and closure
  • Lectures as the main delivery
  • Informs students about mistakes
  • Leads students step by step to a solution
  • Acts as the sole source of information
  • Neglects to solicit students’ explanations
  • Accepts explanations that have no  justification
  • Introduces unrelated concepts or skills.
  • “Plays around” with no goal in mind
  • Provides definitive answers
  • Tells students that they are wrong
  • Lectures
  • Leads students step by step to a solution
  • Explains how to work through problems
  • Tests vocabulary words, terms, and  isolated facts
  • Introduces new ideas or concepts
  • Creates ambiguity
  • Promotes open-ended discussion unrelated to concepts or skills
  • Provides only summative feedback
  • Creates curiosity
  • Raises questions
  • Elicits responses that uncover what the students  know or think about the concepts
  • Encourages students to work together without  direct instruction
  • Observes and listens to students’ interactions  • Asks probing questions to
  • redirect students’  investigations when necessary
  • Acts as consultant for students
  • Encourages students to explain concepts and  definitions in their own words
  • Asks for justification (evidence) and
  • clarification from students
  • Formally provides definitions, explanations,  and new labels
  • Uses students’ previous experiences as the basis for  explaining concepts
  • Expects students to use formal labels, definitions, and explanations provided  previously
  • Encourages students to apply or extend  concepts and skills in new situations
  • Refers students to existing data and evidence and asks questions such as “What do you already know? Why do you think so?”
  • Observes students as they apply new concepts  and skills
  • Assesses students’ knowledge and skills
  • Provides students with formative feedback to  enhance their thinking or behaviours
  • Allows students to assess their own learning  and group-process skills
  • Asks open-ended questions such as “What do you know about x? How would you explain x?  Based on what evidence?”

Student’s Role and Actions in the 5E Learning Model





Elaborate Evaluate

Consistent with Model

Inconsistent with Model

  • Asks for the “right” answer
  • Offers the “right” answer
  • Insists on answers or explanations
  • Seeks one solution
  • Passive involvement
  • Works quietly with little or no interaction with others
  • “Plays around” indiscriminately with no  goal in mind
  • Stops with one solution
  • Proposes explanations from “thin air”,  with no relationship to previous experiences
  • Brings up irrelevant experiences and  examples
  • Accepts explanations without justification
  • Does not attend to other plausible explanations
  • • “Plays around” with no goal in mind
  • Ignores previous information or  evidence
  • Draws conclusions from “thin air”
  • In discussion, uses only labels provided  by the teacher
  • Draws conclusions without using
  • evidence or previously accepted
  • explanation
  • Offers only “yes” or “no” answers and  memorized definitions or explanations  as answers
  • Fails to express satisfactory explanations  in his or her own words
  • Introduces new, irrelevant topics
  • Asks questions such as” why did this happen?
  • What do I already know about this?
  • What can I  find out about this?”
  • Shows interest in the topic
  • Thinks freely but within the limits of the activity
  • Tests predictions and hypotheses
  • Forms new predictions and hypotheses
  • Tries alternatives and discusses them with others
  • Records observations and ideas
  • Suspends judgment
  • Explains possible solutions or answers to others  • Listens critically to others’ explanations
  • Questions others’ explanations
  • Listens to and tries to comprehend explanations  offered by the teacher
  • Refers to previous activities
  • Uses recorded observations in explanations
  • Applies new labels, definitions, explanations and  skills in a new but similar situation
  • Uses previous information to ask questions,  propose solutions, make decisions and design  experiments
  • Draws reasonable conclusions from the evidence
  • Records observations and explanations
  • Checks for understanding among peers
  • Answers open-ended questions by using observations, evidence, and previously accepted  explanations
  • Demonstrates understanding or knowledge of  concept or skill
  • Evaluates his or her own progress and knowledge
  • Asks related questions that would encourage future  investigations


Begin small. You may create a lecture using simply two components of the 5E model. If your session already includes a hands-on activity, you might wish to start there. Engage to begin kids thinking about the hands-on activity they’ll do during the Explore phase. A short 3- to 5-minute exercise based on a prevalent misperception, such as a current events narrative, a video, an advertisement, a problem scenario, or a challenge statement, might interest students.

Investigate first, then explain. Even the simplest lab research or hands-on activities in the Explore phase can take time. However, you can allow for some inquiry prior to explanation to prepare pupils for new material. They could try to solve a problem, forecast the outcome of an experiment or demonstration, or respond to a challenging inquiry. Consider commencing teaching (Explain) in the middle of the class session, rather than at the beginning, after students have had some time to explore..

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