Using the 5E Model for Science with your Kindergarten, First and Second Grade Students

The 5E Inquiry-Based Instructional Model

The 5E model is used throughout the Science4Us curriculum as the optimal elementary science learning lesson. Each new “E” builds upon the last as students are able to successfully navigate through and learn important science skills at the kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade levels.

The web-based, app-based, and offline science program is structured around the 5E educational model. Language arts, math, technology and arts lessons are built into the Elaborate section of the 5E Model.

The first part of the 5E model, Engage, introduces the new science concept by determining the students’ prior knowledge while revealing student misconceptions. Our online Engage activities include an interactive digital notebook followed by a short video clip, an additional follow up digital notebook activity and then students will hear listening comprehension questions. The offline Engage lesson is a hands-on activity that can be used in whole group, in centers or 1:1.

Following the Engage is the Explore. When kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade students Explore, they are provided with an opportunity to “play” as they identify and develop their current understanding of the foundational science concepts. While generating new ideas, elementary students will begin to develop their own questions. The offline Explore worksheet is called, “Take it a Step Further.” This handout provides students with a hands on, inquiry-based science activity that further enhances their ability to ask questions.

During the Explain phase, elementary students are provided a clear, concise description of the new concept which will include formal labels and essential vocabulary through a fun and captivating video clip. Within the Explain segment is a “Show What You Know” game-show-like assessment that checks for student understanding. The offline lesson is a graphic organizer or mind map that also determines mastery of the foundational science concept.

The Elaborate phase of the 5E Instructional Model is meant to provide in-depth learning experiences. This is also where Science4Us blends in literacy, technology and engineering components through game-based activities and lessons. Kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade students can swim in the science and enhance the overall experience by adding in cross-curricular fun. Offline handouts include many literacy concepts such as compare and contrast, fluency, categorizing and classifying and creative writing.

The final phase of the 5E model is the Evaluate. This was designed to assess overall student understanding of the foundational science concepts and the progress made towards learning the science objectives. The online interactive science assessment is graded automatically for teacher viewing. The offline assessment is specialized for kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade and it includes a standardized test prep version.

Science4Us uses the 5E model to deliver foundational skills in the best possible way to our early elementary school science learners. Students are exposed to Inquiry Science, Physical Science, Life Science and Earth and Space Science in a methodical way to increase overall retention of the standards-based content. It not only represents a solid instructional model for diverse student populations but each phase of the module was also designed to evoke the interest and curiosity of all learners in kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade.