The 5E Model - Our New Lesson Plans

Happy New Year!  This past week was our first week back to school.  Our weather was cold and drizzly, but our students were really pretty calm.  We, as teachers, were trying to get back into the swing of things after two weeks of rest and holiday festivities.  One focus of our attention this week has been lesson plans.  Our district is moving towards the Five E model of lesson plans for all subject areas.  Last year we dabbled in the 5 E's for Science instruction.  This year, with Go Math, we moved into using it for Math as well.  Now in January, we are supposed to add ELA and Social Studies.

The 5 E's is an instructional model based on an approach to learning where students connect new learning experiences to prior knowledge. The 5 E model can be used with students from Pre-kinder through high school.

Each phase in this lesson model begins with the letter "E":

Engage: This phase provides a focus for the lesson.  The teacher focuses students on the content they will be learning.  It helps her find out what students already know and  they want to know.

This provides students with an experience that helps them actively explore and develop concepts, processes, and skills.

Students are given opportunities to explain their understanding of concepts they have been exploring. This is also where the teacher can provide vocabulary, definitions, and explanations of concepts, processes, and skills.

This is where students extend and develop a deeper understanding of major concepts.  They can delve deeper into areas of interest, and refine their conceptual skills.

This allows teachers to assess the students' understanding of key concepts and skill development.

For most teachers this is new way to structure and set up our lessons.  Most of the teachers in my school are used to a Madeline Hunter type format of  Objectives, Materials, Anticipatory Set, Teacher Direct, Modeling, Check for Understanding, Guided Practice, Independent Practice, Evaluation.  But, when you really look closely, most of the steps in Madeline Hunter Lessons can fit somewhere in the 5E model.  The biggest difference is how the learning is layered one phase before the other to provide connections. And also, the focus in the 5 E model of letting children explore prior to providing them with content. 

As we use and become more familiar with this model of instruction, we have been tweaking our lesson plan formats.  This is one format that seems to have been working well so far.

I'd love to hear the comments of teachers who have been using the 5E model for a while.  Do you use it in all subject areas?  Does it make your lesson planning harder?  How has using it affected your student achievement.  I hope to have answers to these and other questions after we have more experience using this model.

Until Next Time...


  1. What a great teaching practice, thanks for the tip!

  2. What a great teaching practice, thanks for the tip!

  3. I use this for 5th grade math. It allows students to think of thier own strategy and justify their reasoning for what they chose and to also see why what they thought doesn't work.