Explore the 5 E’s of Science

Engage

These lessons mentally engage the students with an event or question. Engagement activities help students to make connections with what they know and can do.

What the Teacher Does

  • Creates interest
  • Generates curiosity
  • Raises questions
  • Elicits responses that uncover what the students know or think about the concept/topic

What the Student Does

  • 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

Explore

Students work with one another to explore ideas through hands-on activities. Under the guidance of the teacher, students clarify their own understanding of major concepts and skills.

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’ investigation when necessary
  • Provides time for students to puzzle through problems
  • Acts as a consultant for students

What the Student Does

  • Thinks freely, but within the limits of the activity
  • Tests predictions and hypothesis
  • Forms new predictions and hypotheses
  • Tries alternatives and discusses them with others
  • Records observations and ideas
  • Suspends judgment

Explain

Students explain their understanding of the concepts and processes they are learning. Teachers clarify students’ understanding and introduce new concepts and skills.

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 the basis for explaining concepts

What the Student Does

  • Explains possible solutions or answers to others
  • Listens critically to one another’s explanations
  • Questions one another’s explanations
  • Listens to and tries to comprehend explanations the teacher offers
  • Refers to previous activities
  • Uses recorded observation in explanations

Elaborate

These lessons challenge students to apply what they have learned and build on the students’ understanding of concepts to extend their knowledge and skills.

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.)

What 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, design experiments
  • Draws reasonable conclusions from evidence
  • Records observations and explanations
  • Checks for understanding among peers

Evaluate

Students assess their own knowledge, skills, and abilities. These lessons allow teachers to evaluate students’ progress.

What the Teacher Does

  • Observes the students as they apply new concepts and skills
  • Accesses students’ knowledge and/or skills
  • Looks for evidence that the students have changed their thinking or behaviors
  • Allows students to access their own learning and group-process skills
  • Asks open-minded questions, such as Why do you think…? What evidence do you have? What do you know about it? How would you explain it?

What 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