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The 5E lesson model:Engage & Explore

Updated on September 2, 2017
dbroomfi profile image

A teacher in Southeast Texas with three children, I graduated from University of Houston and currently completing a Masters at UT-Arlington.

The explore portion of the 5E lesson model

The Engage and Explore can be as simple as a teacher modeling and activity through discussion and then allowing students a chance to discover through practice.
The Engage and Explore can be as simple as a teacher modeling and activity through discussion and then allowing students a chance to discover through practice.

Engage and Explore

Engage: The opening of the 5E lesson.

To prepare for these intricate phases these lessons should be scripted beforehand,especially for beginning teachers; to ensure that this learning cycle is processed effectively.

Engage means to have your students' attention in a way that you can successfully introduce a concept in a way that is meaningful and effective. How will you get them interested in the learning? This part of the lesson does not have to be grand or too simple. You have to figure out what is appropriate for the given lesson being taught.

Implementation Examples

  • videos from reputable sites or sources
  • books that correlate to the concept
  • real life pictures
  • effective discussion
  • brainstormimg
  • KWL chart
  • hands on experience

There are several ways to effectively engage students in a lesson. You might create or use an existing video use a book or just pictures. Engaged students' think in depth when teachers scaffold with effective questioning about the concept. Using students' prior knowledge through discussion, about everyday examples that might help them to begin to understand in order to begin to explore the concept. You want to smoothly transition into the next 5E phase.

5E Lesson Plan: The Explore


Now that the students attention is at its peak the explore phase is the key to concept introduction. Through a meaningful hands on experience students discover the core importance of the lesson and are able to dis-aggregate the new information through an intentional experience. These activities should be well planned and aligned with learning objectives. They should be easy to implement and clean up and should target central ideas with precision.

Implementation Examples

Scenario 1: Using a script to narrate a skit, The teacher ask students to be actors in a skit. While students are actively raising their hands the teacher ensures that everyone will get a chance because she needs at least 4-8 students and she will do the skit at least three times. Secondly she passes out a graphic organizers for the kids to write their data. Select students come up to the middle of the front and are given their props and they act out a cycle as the teacher calls out their descriptions. It is important to teach with clear and correct illustrations. While the skit is going on the the other students are also viewing a diagram of the demonstrated cycle. In this case we were studying the Nitrogen cycle, but any cycle can be acted out. The students experienced what a cycle feels like and every time it restarted other students were given a chance to experience it as well.

Scenario 2:

Using a geoboard and large rubber bands students create right angles, obtuse angles, acute angles, and straight angles. The anchor chart with the for types is demonstrated in the front of the room and students are experiencing the attributes of the angles and are noticing how the angles differ through creating them. They had already viewed a video and had a discussion in the previous phase, now they are experiencing the concept with their hands.

Explore is all about experiencing the concept being taught. This is the heart of the lesson because this is where the child gets to work with their new knowledge. They might not really understand just yet, but through exploring the hope is that they will come to comprehend through practice.

The more aligned to the concept and the more students are effectively questioned and guided through this discovery phase the greater the likelihood that they will retain and master the objective at hand. It is those first 15 minutes of a lesson that really determines how well students will comprehend and react to independent task.

Also the task does not have to an extensive production it can be as simple as students manipulating a piece of construction paper to demonstrate a model.

© 2013 Dominique Broomfield


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      kjd 19 months ago

      Do you have to sign up to watch the videos?

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      Sami 2 years ago

      I was looking for the videos you had up on how to create the 5E lesson. I saw a couple of weeks ago the videos that were broken up into the stages as you taught them. but they aren't there anymore. these were very helpful. Can you put them back up please? Or tell me where else they might be accessed? Thanks!