5E Lesson Plan Template for Science

Instructor: Joanne Abramson

Joanne has taught middle school and high school science for more than ten years and has a master's degree in education.

The 5E lesson plan is a wonderful tool to engage and involve students in the scientific process. This lesson provides a description of the 5E lesson plan for the science classroom as well as examples of its application.

The 5E Lesson Plan

The 5E model aims to engage students in the learning process by creating inquiry-based, student-centered lessons. Each of the five sections begins with the letter E: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. Do not expect the entire sequence to be completed in a single class period. In some cases, each individual section can take a day or more.

The descriptions of each section include an example activity that meets the following middle school life science standard.

  • Next Generation Science Standard MS-LS4-3: ''Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships.''


This represents the hook. It is an activity that encourages the students to ask questions and entices them to learn more. A demonstration or mini-lab that has students describe what they see or explain how something occurs is ideal.

  • Example: Project images and bone structures of the homologous limbs of various animals, both living and extinct. Have students make observations and provide possible explanations for what they see.


This section generally consists of a laboratory activity where students gain common experiences and discover concepts, processes, and patterns. The exploration provides a starting point from which the class can build their understanding together.

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