School Improvement in Maryland

Designing a Science Lesson Using the 5E Model

1. IDENTIFY THE SCIENTIFIC CONCEPT FOR THE LESSON

What scientific concept/principle should students learn from this lesson? Use indicators from the Science State Curriculum as a resource. Include indicators from both Skills and Processes (Standard 1) and Concepts (Standards 2-6).

2. IDENTIFY A REAL-WORLD OR PRACTICAL APPLICATION RELATED TO THE CONCEPT

This is then developed into the culminating or the last in a series of logically connected activities. It can be

  • a problem students can solve   or
  • a decision students can make   or
  • a question students can answer

This application will be presented and described during the ENGAGEMENT and will be completed as the EXTENSION portion of the model. Posing the challenge is the heart of the ENGAGEMENT. Students become motivated as the future activity is described. They become focused and are able to access prior knowledge. Teachers may follow this description with other motivational activities. These may include a demonstration by the teacher and/or a student; a short reading from a current media release, a science journal, a piece of literature (biography, essay, poem, etc.); analyzing a graphic organizer; etc. As the EXTENSION, the activity gives purpose and meaning to all the activities that the students should do to develop an understanding of the concept. It provides the connection for these activities. The activity can be followed by another related extension activity. For example, after students have solved the problem, made a decision, or answered the question, they can WRITE TO PERSUADE a selected audience to adopt their thinking.

3. PROVIDE OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS TO EXPLORE, COLLECT AND RECORD INFORMATION

In this activity, students may gather information from

  • lab work and   or
  • books/journals and   or
  • the internet

Usually, at least two different activities are developed, an investigation followed by a reading. These will become the components of the EXPLORATION. The activities are designed so students can collect information that they will use to complete the EXTENSION activity. Providing students with a set of directions to follow is a perfect opportunity to use READ FOR INFORMATION TO PERFORM AN INVESTIGATION strategies. (Whenever possible, students should have opportunities to design investigations and implement the set of procedures they wrote. In this situation, READ FOR INFORMATION TO PERFORM AN INVESTIGATION strategies can be used to critique their design.) When they are gathering information from text-based sources, use READING TO BE INFORMED techniques. The reading that is used should complement whatever investigation the students have completed. It should add details to the understanding that they developed during their investigation. The EXPLORATION is always followed by the EXPLANATION portion of the model. The two parts are intrinsically linked to each other.

4. DEVELOP A SERIES OF QUESTIONS (using a SR, BCR, and/or format when possible)

These will form the body of the EXPLANATION.

  1. for independent student reflection to
    • help students analyze the collected information
    • guide their thinking as they develop meaning/understanding
  2. for class discussion to
    • compare data and ideas
    • critique conclusions

To write questions, use the indicators from two different science standards, Skills and Processes (Standard 1) and the Concepts of Science (Earth/Space, Life, Chemistry, Physics, or Environmental Science. Any of these questions can be structured in the prompt format used for WRITING TO INFORM. This makes up Part One of the EXPLANATION. The EXPLANATION helps the teacher evaluate what has occurred during the EXPLORATION. Teachers must be sure that the students have developed an accurate understanding from their activities.

5. PROVIDE EXPLANATIONS THAT WILL INCREASE THE STUDENT'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE CONCEPT

Teachers should modify explanations as required, add information to enhance understanding, or move to a related, more complex concept. This makes up Part Two of the EXPLANATION.

6. EVALUATION OCCURS THROUGHOUT THE LESSON

The EVALUATION provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate and check their understanding of the concepts. Scoring tools developed by teachers and students target what students must know and do. Consistent use of scoring tools improves learning. A final EVALUATION of all important concepts, skills, & processes may conclude the lesson.