When teaching science have you heard about the catchy 5E system for teaching science. It is popular in the states and can easily be applied in some ways to using Inquiry in science.
I wanted to borrow from the 5Es and push some of these stages a little further and integrate it with what we know about Inquiry.
What we know. The 5E model is used to structure how you teach science and it is a great framework.
Inquiry based learning is student centred and based on some of the same principals of letting students discover concepts first.
Long term implementation over the course of the unit. With a focus on student driven exploration.
The steps of the 5 E model are below
How the 5E model can be applied to using an inquiry approach in your classroom.
1) Start with engaging your students in the topic that you are studying. Use a Wonderwall or knowledge building circle.
2) Let them explore the basic concepts discover what key concepts mean. Use experiments, stem activities, problem solving. Learn more about the topics that interest them.
3) explain – this is where it is different. With inquiry this is not a lecture when you just give answers and the make notes. This is a time for them to share, compare, reflect. Your are leading them to the answers and conclusions but not just telling them all the answers. Sometimes there will be a time and place for direct explanation especially to clarify key concepts theories at an age appropriate level.
Although note taking and interactive notebooks are often used at this page I would caution against the worksheet or low level worksheet. Reflective journals are a great tool at this stage to track learning.
Fluctuations between these last two steps and the answer their questions and explore newer concepts.
Remember this explore explain cycle is student driven and stems from their questions developed from hooks from the engagement section.
Elaborate. This is where an inquiry project where they elaborate their learning and apply what they have learned to solve bigger ideas and issues related to the topic of student.
Making connections within and between concepts.
Evaluate – although evaluation should be embedded throughout the learning as a way to track the understanding of the student here let’s talk specifically about summarize assessment.
Using show what you know projects tests quizzes, conferences, learning journals. Etc.