5E Lesson Plan

The 5E Lesson Plan format has gained popularity and it is personally one of my favorites to use in my classroom!

It is the perfect format for engaging the students and improving their success.


An engage should not last longer than 5 minutes. Just like when you are in the mall, you quickly look at the window display and decide whether you want to go in or move onto the next store. Your students’ use these 5 minutes, for many it’s within the first 2 minutes, to decide how engaged they plan on being for the lesson.

When planning the engage of your lesson, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is the lesson objective?
  2. How do I want to state the lesson objective to the students?
  3. How can I quickly get the students engaged in the lesson objective?
  4. What engage strategy have I not utilized within the past 3 lessons?


The explore section of you lesson could be reading a book and the students answer questions during the reading. Other examples of an explore would be group discussion, explain common misconceptions of the lesson, or some thought provoking questions they will answer at the end of the lesson.

Questions to ask yourself while planning the explore:

  1. What else can I do to get their minds set on the objective?
  2. What can I pull from their prior knowledge to help them succeed in today’s lesson?
  3. What are common misconceptions with this lesson?


Remember this portion does not always have the highest engagement because it reaches only the auditory learners in your classroom. You want this portion to be short and to the point. This is a great time to create an anchor chart, do an interactive journal entry, or do a think/read aloud. Try and keep this portion at a maximum of 15 minutes and even shorter for younger students.

Questions to ask yourself while planning the explain:

  1. What is the most important information needed for them to be successful today?
  2. What are the common misconceptions for this standard? (it never hurts to mention these more than once)


The elaborate portion is when the students are able to do some guided practice. They are elaborating on their learning by practicing the new information. This is a great time to have the students work in groups or in pairs. Ask them guiding questions to further their knowledge on the subject. At the same time you are watching for how confident they are on the subject. Do they look comfortable? How long is it taking them to answer the questions or to work out the problems?

Questions to ask yourself while planning the elaborate:

  1. What are some guiding/higher level thinking questions I can ask to further their knowledge?
  2. What do I want to see the student be able to do in pairs or groups before I evaluate them individually?


Throughout the lesson you are doing several informal evaluations. You are mentally taking note on which students are struggling in the group activities and which are soaring. The evaluation will give you the details of where each student is at in being successful with the information.

Here are several examples of an evaluate I have used in my classroom:

If you want more information, examples from my own lesson plans, and a template please head to the homepage and receive my FREE Ebook on the 5E Lesson Plan Format.

-Teachers on the Block

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