Designing 5E Instructional Sequences

The 5E Model is a great way to develop our own understanding of how students construct knowledge from the experiences that happen within our classrooms.

In this workshop series, we will explore

  • how conceptual understanding of science content develops for your students, so you can create instructional sequences that work
  • how to create 5E activities and learning sequences [“chunks” within your student-driven storyline] for your own classroom, so you can truly engage your students in 3D exploration and discovery


Why The 5E Model?

I’ll be honest – at this point, I don’t stick to the 5E Model as I’m designing my instructional sequences. I don’t necessarily run through “engage,” “explore,” “explain,” “elaborate,” and so forth in designing activities. That said, I do recommend the 5E Model as a way to think about the purpose of each phase of learning.

As I’m designing my anchor experiences, I’m thinking about what I know about the engage phase — how I’m aiming to spark curiosity, activate prior knowledge, and generate questions.

When I’m ready for students to learn a new concept, I go for explore — considering how I can set up the activity to allow students to discover the concepts for themselves, to put the ideas together in their own brain in order to walk away with a deep, conceptual understanding.

Through exploration and moving forward, I think about my explain phase — the “meaning-making” or “sense-making” activities that clarify and reinforce understandings — sometimes adding details, fleshing out ideas, making sure we’re on “the same page.”

In my own classroom, I think about how I can elaborate on student understanding — providing new opportunities to practice and transfer their learning.

The purposes are the same… so in many ways, I still use the 5E Model. I just don’t confine myself to checking off boxes of phases or learning tasks anymore, and I don’t put the 5E Model front-and-center in my storyline planning. I could certainly categorize each and every activity in an instructional sequence into a phase — but I no longer find I need to.

All that said, it has taken me many years to get here.

And if you’re just starting out designing three-dimensional learning sequences, I can’t recommend a better place to begin than the 5E Model.

With that in mind, this course is designed to walk you through understanding the phases of the 5E Model — the stages of a learning sequence — in order to design a sequence (and all the activities that fall within it) for yourself.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. When is this course happening?

Designing 5E Instructional Sequences is an on-demand program. This means you have the freedom and flexibility to digest material on your schedule and at your own pace.


2. How long do I have access for?

Your one-time purchase provides you “Lifetime Access” to the Designing 5E Instructional Sequences course. You will not be charged again, and your access does not expire.

To be clear though, “Lifetime Access” indicates access for the “lifetime of this program and/or lifetime of this business” and it is not a guarantee of access throughout your lifetime.

Legal Terms: iExploreScience LLC reserves the right to withdraw or amend this website and any service or materials we provide on the website in our sole discretion without notice. We will not be liable if for any reason all or any part of the website is unavailable at any time or for any period. From time to time, we may restrict access to some parts of the website, or the entire website, to users, including registered users.


3. What exactly does this program include?

Designing 5E Instructional Sequences is an on-demand course with six modules (each with 4-5 video workshops) available immediately upon purchase. Each module is roughly 45-60 minutes in length. Video versions are provided, and some videos include additional supplementary printable materials.


4. What is your refund policy?

If you are dissatisfied with the content in this course upon taking a closer look, please contact within 48 hours of your purchase to request a full refund.


5. What if I need support?

The Spark Science website includes a forum where you can seek support and guidance as you complete the course.