The 5 E’s of Lesson Planning

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Packages are nice.  I like wrapping things up in neat little packages, especially lesson plans.  Lesson plans, however, can be sloppy, ill-conceived, and frankly, crafted on the fly (we’ve all been there).  I needed a way to pull the lessons together so that they made sense to me and more importantly, the kids.  I needed a model.  And so I started researching.  Our district currently uses Discovery Ed for the science text book.  The text relies heavily on the 5e instructional model.  Since I am a firm believer in a constructivist approach, this seemed like a good fit for me. Constructivism, of course, is the idea that students build new ideas upon their old ideas.  I have often used the construction metaphor to explain the development of education to my students.

Planning a lesson with the 5Es in mind allows for a beginning framework.  I like to think about it as a foundation, a firm foundation that will allow the students to excel once the lesson is finished.  The 5Es are: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate.  The entire 5E process is not meant to span one class period.  At the very least, each of the Es should take at least a class period, depending on the content and the amount that is to be taught.  My hope is that using this method will allow for a planned out sequence of activities.  Many, believe that this method is simply too much work.  Is this however, a case of completing the work before hand, and having a clear path to maneuver, then I say, the work is worth it.

My plan is to construct a 5E lesson plan for The Rock Cycle that will build the knowledge of my sixth grade students and engage them in the process (see what I did there: “E”ngage).  I will keep you updated.

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