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How to Create a 5E Lesson Plan

Dominique is an instructional coach and lead teacher in Colorado Springs. She focuses her teaching practices on researched-based pedagogy.

The 5E lesson plan

The 5E lesson plan

What Is a 5E Lesson Plan?

The 5E lesson supports inquiry-based instruction. It allows children to make discoveries and process new skills in an engaging way. Teachers can also adequately plan power objectives more effectively by using the 5E process.

Children are not just learning with this method; they are more knowledgeable about their own metacognition because they are coached along and not dictated by teachers merely lecturing. The role of the teacher is to facilitate and support students as they use prior knowledge to build new knowledge.

The five E's of the 5E lesson plan are:

  1. Engage
  2. Explore
  3. Explain
  4. Elaborate
  5. Evaluate

When planning a lesson, each of these areas should be completed. Oftentimes, these lessons may take a few days to complete.

1. Engage

To engage means to excite and to draw your child or student's curiosity. It means to wow them in a way that catches their attention. It is not forcing children to learn but inviting them to do so. This is how lessons are introduced.

It does not have to be difficult or overly detailed, just interesting enough to open students' minds for the learning process to begin. Using technology to engage student learning makes planning very easy for teachers in today's classrooms.

Here are a few ways to engage students at the beginning of a lesson:

  • Smartboard technology
  • Videos
  • Illustrations
  • Asking questions
  • KWL charts
  • Reading a great book
  • Acting out a character
  • Introducing a game

2. Explore

Once students are fully in grossed in the lesson, intrigued by a video or maybe a book, now it is time to allow them to explore the concept.

Let's say I do a lesson on camouflage; first, I would engage them with an informative video explaining camouflage with animation. Now in the "explore" phase of the lesson, they will play, let's say, a game where they will go outside and break up into teams. Each team will be given a minute to find as many various colored strings scattered in the grass.

The goal of exploring is to give the learner the opportunity to practice or work with their new knowledge in some way. The most effective explorations allow for mistakes or trial and error. It is looking at a concept before discussing all the details, with hopes that students will discover answers to possible questions through exploration.

3. Explain

Students now have an opportunity to hear from their educator. The teacher's role so far has been to mainly facilitate learning; now, they can use their expertise to answer questions students may have about what they are learning. They also may pose questions to the student to see what they are able to explain about what they have learned.

Checking for misunderstandings helps the teacher to observe what objectives need to be clarified or taught. So, for example, with the camouflage lesson, once the students have picked as many strings as possible, they should count each color that they picked.

Which color did they pick up the most, which color did they pick the least amount of? Have them make a chart, so they can look at their findings and compare as a group. Students should notice that they picked fewer green strings because the green was blending in with the grass. They have more of a different color like purple because of its contrast in color.

This explaining is done without the teacher having to do much lecturing. The lesson is reinforced by what the students have seen from their exploring.

4. Elaborate

Here the students can participate in an extension or a different activity that either re-teaches an objective or teaches more details about the concept being taught. Here differentiation can be used.

A student above level will need an elaboration that extends or enriches the lesson. A student below level will need perhaps a repeat of the same explore activity with more teacher input to guide students through again to correct misunderstandings.

Again with the camouflage, elaboration may be discussing what other animals besides say frogs use camouflage? What elements in their habitat allow them to do so? Or the teacher might say, "Let's look at our charts again from the results of our game." Doing so will allow him or her to re-teach or elaborate on what was misunderstood.

5. Evaluate

Finally, after the objectives are taught, it is time to assess. What have students effectively learned? What do they not understand? What should be done to help them?

Assessments do not have to be the traditional quiz or essay. It can be a reflection, project, book report, or model. Like with the camouflage lesson, the evaluation could be an assignment where students come up with five facts about camouflage and illustrate each in their own unique way.

They might make a model, paint a picture, or make a mini-book with drawings and facts to illustrate what they learned. Using a rubric the teacher or parent can now easily grade or make note of what is learned and of what needs to be retaught.

Make It Easy on Yourself When Planning

Many veteran teachers find the 5E lesson plan just more to do. I think that it makes teaching the lesson easier in that the students are more willing to learn, the activities are set up, the lesson sequence is well thought out, and the objective is thoroughly covered.

Use the following words when questioning and make sure to keep the scientific method in mind:

  • What do you observe?
  • Make a hypothesis.
  • Analyze the data; what can you conclude?
  • What connections can you make?

Questions & Answers

Question: What are the objectives of lesson plans?

Answer: Any objective can be taught with the model especially Math and Science subjects

Question: Can we use it in English language lesson plan? If yes then How?

Answer: Yes! Every lesson can be planned with this approach because it is based on the learning cycle. The brain of a learner must be intrigued or curious to be fully immersed and engaged. All lessons can start with a wondering, or with a hook to engage learners to think deeper and ask more questions.

Question: What are the teaching questions and their answers for this lesson plan?

Answer: You create the appropriate questions for your lesson. Think about the central concept you are teaching. How can you vary your questions to get students to think critically and analyze the concept? Be thoughtful and intentional about what you want students to be able to realize about the concept based on your questions. Think about the skills you want them to accomplish.

© 2012 Dominique Broomfield MEd


Dominique Broomfield MEd (author) from Colorado, USA on August 18, 2020:

Hi! If you have any questions, please feel free to message me:)

Dallas W Thompson on August 18, 2020:


Stephanie Smith McConnell on April 29, 2020:

Is the feed still active?

Stephanie Smith McConnell on April 28, 2020:

Do you have any 5E lesson plan examples completed for preschool? I have searched the internet and all I can find is an outline the same as I find under your "5E Interstate".

Prafulla Kumar Naik on February 08, 2020:

How we can make questions in different subjects

Ayesha Mughal on December 09, 2019:

Can any body give me a topic for pre test r post test according to 5e learning model

Saheba on October 16, 2019:

Lesson plans for pp2 class

Ugyen Tenzin on September 24, 2019:

That was a great information, but would you mind telling me a bit similarities and difference between 5E instructional design and lesson plan.

Muneera banoo on July 27, 2019:

Plz give me lesson plan of india at a glance

Ragjavs on June 24, 2019:

Needed lesson plan for classes 6 7 8 CBSE syllabus in 5e mod

Dominique Broomfield MEd (author) from Colorado, USA on May 05, 2019:

ELA and Social Studies Example

Neerja on March 16, 2019:

Please help me with a sample lesson plan for grade 8maths. Rational numbers, square and square roots, exponent and powers.

Saroj on February 17, 2019:

Can u please Help me with lesson plan for science topic with 5E

Yasèen bhikba on December 08, 2018:

Very nice. I would like to translate it urdu

Anita Patrick4 on November 20, 2018:

I am now attending college and is in my second year now and i'm learning how to write a 5E lesson plan in my methods lecture, but i am still unable to grasp the full concept of the format for writing this plan for teaching practice. Dominique can you please help to guild me through the steps to take when writing this 5E plan?

paulette on November 13, 2018:

how would you write a 5E plan for a practical class?

Tabitha Pitts on October 20, 2018:

Oh my gosh! Thank you! Thank you! NOW it ALL makes sense!!!! I thank God for you!!! Wow!!

Crystal Hussaney on October 18, 2018:

A very clear-cut and insightful presentation on the 5-E's Lesson Plan.

I appreciate it.

Well done!

Asha manoj on September 28, 2018:

Pls send a lesson plan based on 9th class

Dominique Broomfield MEd (author) from Colorado, USA on September 27, 2018:

Hi everyone! I am seeing lots of request for additional resources and examples! I will link 5E lessons that I have created to this article in the coming week.

I would say that any subject and grade can benefit from this plan format.

1. Start with the activity that will really center students around the concept.

2. Next what questions do you want to ask students before and during the activity that will lead them to think deeper?

3.. How will you extend the activity

and finally how will you Check for understanding?

shrikant on September 27, 2018:

Respected sir how to make the lesson plan

anna neena george Goa India on June 02, 2018:

dominique thanks for your ideas on 5E model

i am doing a mini project using 5E model on grade 7.

topics i have taken are Triangle and its properties, Comparing quantitites,Visualising solid shapes.

if you have any material on these topics pl give.

it would be a great help.

Toaua on April 17, 2018:

pls explain more about 5e's lesson plan

arti sharma on March 24, 2018:

Pls give the example of mathematics on the basis of this 5E lesson plan for 8th class plsss

binod on March 23, 2018:

Thank u

Rajni prajapat on March 23, 2018:

plz give a lesson plan exapmple

joseph on March 07, 2018:

thank you so much

Katrina on February 09, 2018:

This example was an excellent description of what entails the 5E model.

mohira on January 17, 2018:

it is very useful but could you bring an exact examples for it please, i mean how to use it in learning a language?

sandra on January 16, 2018:

I love it thank you, very clear

Rosa T on January 09, 2018:

So very useful. Thanks a lot.

........ on December 21, 2017:

supper definitios

Dominique Broomfield MEd (author) from Colorado, USA on December 03, 2017:

I wish I new Hindi:)

What is a good email to send you a link?

Dominique Broomfield MEd (author) from Colorado, USA on September 24, 2017:

No problem:)

Sumbul on September 23, 2017:

Excellent piece of information. After reading this article I realized that most of my lessons stops at step 3 and then I jump directly on evaluation. Thank you so much Dominique Broomfield for giving a wonderful insight.

Dominique Broomfield MEd (author) from Colorado, USA on September 05, 2017:

You can do it Michelle! In my experience it really helps to reach more students the first time around and lessens the need for reteaching because it builds the concept effectively in students' minds.

Michelle on September 05, 2017:

Do think if this is thoroughly understood will definitely change d chalk n talk teaching style to that of a more student centered learning d format trying to master it

S C Das on September 04, 2017:

Excellent !

virpal sran on June 30, 2017:

Excellent helpful for teaching

Dr.Raffi.MD on December 18, 2016:

Grate resources.

Dominique Broomfield MEd (author) from Colorado, USA on April 18, 2012:

Thanks, I am glad that there are other professionals that feel like the 5E plan is a good thing. A lot of my colleagues when I learned it college,

thought it was confusing.

Matthew Foreman from Las Vegas on April 18, 2012:

This is great information. I learned similar techniques when I went through my training as a teacher in a non-profit organization. I later incorporated that into my experiences as a volunteer basketball coach.


Dominique Broomfield MEd (author) from Colorado, USA on April 18, 2012:

Thanks, I'm glad you like it. I find this format helps me plan better, I think effective teachers practice most of what this format details when they are experienced. I think new teachers can use this to build their skill.

Dominique Broomfield MEd (author) from Colorado, USA on April 18, 2012:

Thanks, I'm glad you like it. I find this format helps me plan better, I think effective teachers practice most of what this format details when they are experienced. I think new teachers can use this to build their skill.

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on April 17, 2012:

This should be an interesting and useful hub for any teacher. As an EFL teacher in Thailand, I basically have been using your 5E lesson plan with success for my classes. I am sharing this with my followers.