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  • Writer's pictureCat Orias

How the 5E Instructional Model Can Transform STEAM Lessons

Imagine if you could take your students on a journey through the scientific process. From hypothesizing to experimenting to analyzing data, they would be able to experience the entire scientific method firsthand. With the 5E Instructional Model, you can!

This model can be used for any subject, but it's especially valuable for STEAM lessons. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, and these subjects are commonly taught separately. But when they're taught together in an integrated manner like this, they create a synergy that can truly ignite a student's imagination.

The 5E Instructional Model is a framework that helps teachers create lessons that are hands-on, interactive, and aligned with the Common Core State Standards. In this article, we'll explore how to use it in your classroom and take a look at some examples of successful STEAM lessons.

What Is the 5E Instructional Model?

The 5E Instructional Model is a tried-and-true framework that can be used to structure STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) lessons. It's based on the five phases of the scientific method: explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate, and exit.

Each phase is designed to help students learn in a hands-on and interactive way. And when used effectively, the 5E Instructional Model can help you transform any STEAM lesson into an engaging and enriching experience for your students.

Why Use the 5E Instructional Model in STEAM Lessons?

The 5E Instructional Model is a tried and true approach to science instruction that can be adapted for use in STEAM lessons.

Why is the 5E Instructional Model so popular? Well, it's based on sound educational principles and research. It's been shown to increase student engagement and understanding, and it helps teachers assess student learning.

But most importantly, the 5E Instructional Model is versatile and adaptable. It can be used for any grade level, subject area, or STEAM lesson. With a little creativity and imagination, the 5E model can be tailored to fit any classroom need.

Engage With the 5Es in STEAM Lessons

When you engage with the 5Es, you're providing students with a flexible and coherent framework that helps them understand and learn STEAM concepts. You're also helping them to develop important skills like inquiry, problem-solving and critical thinking.

The 5Es are also a great way to help students work together and build team skills. When they're working together to solve a problem or complete an inquiry project, they're learning how to cooperate, communicate and collaborate. This is a valuable skill that will serve them well in their future careers.

Different Ways to Connect the Content and Process-Oriented Steps of the 5E Model

The 5E model is a great way to integrate STEAM topics into your lessons. You can start by introducing the content, using the Engage step of the 5E model. This step is all about introducing the topic and capturing students’ curiosity. You could use visuals or stories to set the stage for your lesson.

The Explore step of the 5E model can be used for students to explore a concept more deeply and make personal connections with it. For instance, you could use an activity that requires students to look at a problem from different perspectives. This allows students to think critically about how STEAM topics are applicable in their daily lives as well as in other contexts.

In the Explain step of the 5E model, you can give your students time to process their findings and explain them out loud or in writing. This allows them to reflect on their understanding of STEAM concepts, which helps them think more deeply and build up their confidence. At this stage, it's also important for them to practice critical thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

The last two steps of the 5E model- Elaborate and Evaluate- provide students with a chance to apply what they've learned and evaluate their understanding of it. Here, you could have them do a creative project that requires them to use STEAM skills or ask them questions about what they've learned so far. By implementing these five steps in your lessons, you help create an immersive learning experience for your students that allows them to interact with STEM concepts on a deeper level.

The Benefits of Using the 5E Model in STEAM Lessons

The 5E Model has a lot of benefits when it comes to transforming STEAM lessons. For one, it helps to engage students in the subject matter since they are actively exploring the material through the five stages. Secondly, it allows for more effective knowledge retention since students have multiple chances to interact with and practice what they’ve learned.

Third, this model works well with collaboration and encourages creative expression. For example, during the evaluation stage, students can be given an assignment or project that involves using the skills they’ve learned and applying them to something unique. Finally, teachers can also use the 5E Model to assess students’ knowledge and understanding of a certain concept as they progress through each stage.

FAQs on Using the 5E Instructional Model in STEAM Lessons

You may be wondering how to use the 5E Instructional Model in your STEAM lessons. Let’s chat through some frequently asked questions:

- What is the 5E Instructional Model? The 5E Instructional Model is an effective way to engage students in learning by using a cycle of questioning, exploration, explanation, application, and assessment. Each step emphasizes student-driven learning at its core.

- How can I use it in my STEAM lessons? Incorporate the 5Es into your lesson planning! Start with a question that piques student interest, and gives time for exploration and discussion. Follow up with an explanation to make sure everyone understands the concept before moving forward. Then have them apply their new knowledge with hands-on activities or experiments. Finally, assess their newfound understanding with a quiz or other assessment strategies.

- What benefits will my students get from using this model? Your students will benefit from chances to explore, discuss and reflect on their learning journey throughout the 5Es—an essential component of STEAM teaching that is critical for students to understand STEM concepts.


The 5E Instructional Model is a great way to approach STEAM education, and it can help to transform your lessons. Keep in mind that the 5E Model is flexible, so you can adapt it to meet the needs of your students. Make sure to provide students with plenty of opportunities to explore, experiment, and ask questions. When you use the 5E Instructional Model, you can help your students to learn and explore the world of STEAM.

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