The 5 E’s model is based on constructivist learning theories. This is the idea that learners construct new ideas on top of their old ones. Each of the 5 E’s represents one part of this constructivist process. The 5 E’s are engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate. The 5E’s is a process that allows teachers, parents (homeschoolers), and students to use common activities to construct new meaning and understanding as well as consistently evaluate progress.
The very first part of the process, engage, is the part where the new foundational skill is introduced. This can be done in a variety of ways from an online activity to a short video clip. Or, if you are more interested in offline learning, this can be a demonstration or other hands on engaging learning activity. Students should be engaged in the concept or skill to be learned.
After engagement, is explore. In this phase students are encouraged to actively explore the new concept within their environment or within a learning situation. This could include an online game activity or even an offline worksheet. Science4Us uses this process in their “Take it a Step Further” and allows students to further enhance their understanding through a hands on inquiry based science activity.
Following this is the phase called explain. A clear concise explanation of the concept is given to the student during this phase. However, the student is also given ample opportunity to explain the concept in their own words. Graphic organizers are great to use for this phase.
During the elaborate phase, students are often challenged with cross curriculum application activities which frequently blends literacy with other subject matter. This allows them to elaborate on previous knowledge and practice what they have learned to build and solidify understanding of the new concept while refining their skills.
Finally, evaluation is the phase in which students can assess their understanding. Teachers will also use some type of assessment during this phase to determine if students have been able to construct and solidify new understanding of the concept.