5E Instructional Model

The 5 E's is an instructional model based on the constructivist approach to learning, which says that learners build or construct new ideas on top of their old ideas. The 5 E's can be used with students of all ages, including adults.

Each of the 5 E's describes a phase of learning, and each phase begins with the letter "E": Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. The 5 E's allows students and teachers to experience common activities, to use and build on prior knowledge and experience, to construct meaning, and to continually assess their understanding of a concept.

Engage

This phase of the 5 E's starts the process. An "engage" activity should do the following:

  • Make connections between past and present learning experiences.

  • Anticipate activities and focus students' thinking on the learning outcomes of current activities.

  • Students should become mentally engaged in the concept, process, or skill to be learned.

Explore

This phase of the 5 E's provides students with a common base of experiences. They identify and develop concepts, processes, and skills. During this phase, students actively explore their environment or manipulate materials.

Explain

This phase of the 5 E's helps students explain the concepts they have been exploring. They have opportunities to verbalize their conceptual understanding or to demonstrate new skills or behaviors. This phase also provides opportunities for teachers to introduce formal terms, definitions, and explanations for concepts, processes, skills, or behaviors.

Elaborate

This phase of the 5 E's extends students' conceptual understanding and allows them to practice skills and behaviors. Through new experiences, the learners develop deeper and broader understanding of major concepts, obtain more information about areas of interest, and refine their skills.

Evaluate

This phase of the 5 E's encourages learners to assess their understanding and abilities and lets teachers evaluate students' understanding of key concepts and skill development.