A Word to the Teacher
Student Edition
The lessons in the student edition are organized in a five-step learning sequence
called the 5 E Model of Instruction. This sequence has proven to be a successful
way for all students to actively learn science as well as other content. The model
suggests that students rely on both prior experiences and firsthand knowledge
gained from new e
xplorations whenever they learn something new or
something familiar in greater depth.
Let’s Engage!
The first E introduces students to a new lesson.
During these brief activities,
students will make connections between something they learned in the past and
something new the
y are about to learn. Students bring prior knowledge about how
the world works, but it is sometimes based on limited experiences and sometimes
on misconceptions.
Let’s Explore!
The second E has students actively explore what they are learning. Students work
as a team to plan, share, and discuss ideas as they learn about the topic. These
activities are often, but not always, lab investigations. Experiences must occur
before explanations. Students acquire a common set of experiences that allow them

to help each other understand the concept through social interaction.
Let’s Explain!
The third E puts students into meaningful discussions with their peers and teacher.
After sharing information, students revise their thinking and record a science
notebook entry that reflects their new understanding.
When students engage in
meaningful discussions with other students and the teacher, they can pool their
explanations based on observations, construct new understandings
, and have a
clear focus for additional learning.
Let’s Elaborate!
The fourth E has students apply or broaden their knowledge by using it in a different
situation. These activities include making products, reading to learn, and additional
lab investigations. Providing additional active learning opportunities for students
to incorporate into their mental construct allows them to confirm and expand their
Let’s Evaluate!
The fifth E gives students an opportunity to show what
they have learned and are
able to do. These activities allow both
the student and the teacher to monitor and
reflect on progress. In learner-centered instruction, it is important for students to be
aware of their own progress as an outcome of instruction.
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