As an inquiry-based instructional method, the 5E model can help you keep your students engaged in your teaching and improve learning. Even within your district and state’s curriculum guidelines, you can use a 5E lesson plan template to orient your daily lessons.
The 5E model is a constructivist approach to instruction, meaning that the content builds on students’ previous knowledge and reasoning to teach them new information. The 5 E’s are:
Engage: As with other lesson plans, it’s helpful to begin by grabbing your students’ interest/spark their curiosity. You can mentally engage your students in a number of ways: posing questions or problems, reciting a quote, using a visual cue, etc., and connecting the present lesson with previous knowledge is important because this will help show students why this lesson matters.
Explore: Here, students should explore the new ideas and skills being taught. This could involve an interactive or hands-on activity. For example, a lesson about measurement could prompt students to use rulers and scales to measure certain colorful objects and compare their sizes.
Explain: In this phase, the teacher and students interact to improve the students’ understanding of the content. Using the example above, students could record the sizes and weights of the objects and ask the teachers any questions about the measurements, allowing the teacher to explain anything the students don’t understand.
Elaborate: This is where you will extend the material to include more detail or reinforce what has been learned. For example, students could use the earlier information about size and weight to learn about the concept of density. Again, this phase could connect the lesson to previous knowledge for added reinforcement.
Evaluate: Here, you will determine how much the students learned. You can use a traditional means like a quiz, or you can incorporate several lessons’ worth of material in an assessment due later such as a report or another type of project.
Incorporating these principles in your lesson plan can get your students quite interested in the subject matter and give them confidence in their learning abilities. Interacting with the teacher and other students will also improve communication skills and social skills.
The inquiry instructional method lets teachers regularly assess how well the instruction is going and then guide the rest of the lesson(s) based on that. This involvement allows the instructor to improve the learning experience where more traditional learning approaches would fall short.