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The 5 E’s Science Lesson. Inquiry-Based Instruction. Process Skills of Science. Concepts of Science. Science Content. Students use the process skills of science to develop an understanding of the scientific concepts. Engage. Evaluate. Explore. 5 E ’ s Science Lesson. Extend. Explain.

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The 5 E’s Science Lesson

Inquiry-Based Instruction

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Process Skills of Science

Concepts of Science

Science Content

Students use the process skills of science to develop an understanding of the scientific concepts.

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5 E’s

Science Lesson



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Activity which will focus student’s attention, stimulate their thinking, and access prior knowledge.

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Activity which gives students time to think and investigate/test/make decisions/problem solve, and collect information.

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Activity which allows students to analyze their exploration. Student’s understanding is clarified and modified through a reflective activity.

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Activity which expands and solidifies student thinking and/or applies it to a real-world situation.

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Activity which allows the teacher to assess student performance and/or understandings of concepts, skills, processes, and applications.

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5 E’s

Science Lesson



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EngageSuggested Activities

  • Demonstration

  • Reading

  • Free Write

  • Analyze a Graphic Organizer

  • KWL

  • Brainstorming

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Engage What the Teacher Does

  • Creates Interest.

  • Generates curiosity.

  • Raises questions.

  • Elicits responses that uncover what the students know or think about the concept/topic.

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EngageWhat the Student Does

  • Asks questions such as, Why did this happen? What do I already know about this? What have I found out about this?

  • Shows interest in the topic.

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ExploreSuggested Activities

  • Perform an Investigation

  • Read Authentic Resources to Collect Information

  • Solve a Problem

  • Construct a Model

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Explore What the Teacher Does

  • Encourages the students to work together without direct instruction from the teacher.

  • Observes and listens to the students as they interact.

  • Asks probing questions to redirect the students’ investigations when necessary.

  • Provides time for students to puzzle through problems.

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ExploreWhat the Student Does

  • 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 judgement.

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ExplainSuggested Activities

  • Student Analysis & Explanation

  • Supporting Ideas with Evidence

  • Structured Questioning

  • Reading and Discussion

  • Teacher Explanation

  • Thinking Skill Activities: compare, classify, error analysis

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Explain What the Teacher Does

  • Encourages the 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 basis for explaining concepts.

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ExplainWhat the Student Does

  • Explains possible solutions or answers to others.

  • Listens officially to others’ explanations.

  • Questions others’ explanations.

  • Listens to and tries to comprehend explanations the teacher offers.

  • Refers to previous activities.

  • Uses recorded observations in explanations.

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ExtendSuggested Activities

  • Problem Solving

  • Decision Making

  • Experimental Inquiry

  • Thinking Skill Activities: compare, classify, apply

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Extend What the Teacher Does

  • Expects the students to use formal labels, definitions, and explanations provided previously.

  • Encourages the students to apply or extend the concepts and skills in new situations.

  • Reminds the students of alternative explanations.

  • Refers the students to existing data and evidence and asks, What do you already know? Why do you think . . .?

  • Strategies from Explore apply here also.

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ExtendWhat the Student Does

  • Applies new labels, definitions, explanations, and skills in new, but similar situations.

  • Uses previous information to ask questions, propose solutions, make decisions, and design experiments.

  • Draws reasonable conclusions from evidence.

  • Records observations and explanations.

  • Checks for understandings among peers.

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EvaluateSuggested Activities

  • Any of the Previous Activities

  • Develop a Scoring Tool or Rubric

  • Test (SR, BCR, ECR)

  • Performance Assessment

  • Produce a Product

  • Journal Entry

  • Portfolio

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Evaluate What the Teacher Does

  • Observes the students as they apply new concepts and skills.

  • Assesses students’ knowledge and/or skills.

  • Looks for evidence that the students have changed their thinking or behaviors.

  • Allows students to assess their own learning and group-process skills.

  • Asks open-ended questions, such as: Why do you think. . .? What evidence do you have? What do you know about x? How would you explain x?

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EvaluateWhat the Student Does

  • Answers open-ended questions by using observations, evidence, and previously accepted explanations.

  • Demonstrates an understanding or knowledge of the concept or skill.

  • Evaluates his or her own progress and knowledge.

  • Asks related questions that would encourage future investigations.

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The 5 E’s Lesson Planner






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Science Lesson Planning Sheet





Environmental Science

Earth/Space Science


Life Science









Students will demonstrate the thinking and acting inherent in the practice of science.

Scientific Inquiry


Critical Thinking


Demonstrates the ability to employ the

Demonstrates the thinking and acting inherent

language, instruments, methods, and materials

in the practice of science.

of science






Applications of Science




Demonstrates the ability to apply science

Demonstrates the ability to use the principles

information in various situations.

of technology when exploring scientific






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Well-Designed Science Investigation

High School

Part 1


Testable Question(s) -

A question that can be answered through an

Prediction -

A statement about what may happen in the investigation based on

prior knowledge and/or evidence from previous investigations.

Hypothesis -

A testable explanation (if-then statement) based on an observation,

experience, or scientific reason including the expected cause and

effect in a given circumstance or situation.

Well-Designed Procedure

Directions -

A logical set of steps followed while completing the procedure.

Materials -

All materials needed for completing the investigation are listed.

Variables(s) -

Factors in an investigation that could affect the results. The

independent variable (horizontal or x-axis) is the one variable the

investigator chooses to change. The dependent variable(s)

(vertical or y-axis) change(s) as a result or response.

Data Collection -

The results of the investigation usually recorded on a table,

graph, chart, etc.

Repeated or Multiple Trials -

Repeating the investigation several times

and using the collected data for comparing results and creating


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Well-Designed Science Investigation

High School

Part 2


1. A statement about the trend (general drift, tendency, or direction) of a set of

data from analyzing the data collected during the investigation


form a conclusion


2. The closing paragraph of a report including at least the investigative question,

the hypothesis, and the explanation of the results (

write a conclusion


Communicate and Discuss Results

Share your findings with others for critical analysis (peer review, conference,

presentation, etc.) Discuss conclusions with supporting evidence to identify

more investigative questions.

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The 5 E’s Science Lesson

Inquiry-Based Instruction