BSCS 5E Instructional Model

Book Chapter by: Emily Morgan and Karen Ansberry Digital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

The guided inquiries in this book are designed using the BSCS 5E Instructional Model, commonly referred to as the 5E model (or the 5Es). Developed by the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS), the 5E model is a learning cycle based on a constructivist view of learning. The 5E model provides a planned sequence of instruction that places students at the center of their learning experiences, encouraging them to explore, construct their own understanding of scientific concepts, and relate those understandings to other concepts. This chapter includes an explanation of each phase of the BSCS 5E model—Engage, Explore, Elaborate, and Evaluate.

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Reviews (6)
  • on Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:59 PM

I'm going to print the two charts and refer to them as I plan and enhance my lessons.

Corina Garcia
Corina Garcia

  • on Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:45 AM

Great brief explanation of the 5E instructional model. The two charts from a teacher and student perspective were very useful in terms of understanding circumstances in which the model is effective and not effective for student learning.

Albina Gaspar
Albina Gaspar

  • on Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:29 AM

I would highly recommend this resource to anyone who is unfamiliar with the 5E instructional model. It not only gives a down-to-earth description of what should take place in each phase of instruction, but also gives some very helpful descriptions of how the roles for students and teachers change in this method, which (if done correctly) ensures true inquiry in your classroom.

Kendra Young  (Lake Stevens, WA)
Kendra Young (Lake Stevens, WA)

  • on Thu Apr 07, 2011 9:16 PM

This is one of the best books to help teachers begin to implement inquiry science and also teach some literacy skills. When I use one of the tradebooks and/or lessons that are included, I use it as part of a bigger unit, but as I said before, it's a great way to get some beginning science into the classroom.

Kathy Renfrew  (Barnet, VT)
Kathy Renfrew (Barnet, VT)

  • on Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:28 AM

This chapter goes over the 5E's of inquiry and what each looks like in a classroom through examples and tables that provide examples of what teachers and students should and should not be doing at each step. While it does not sound like it, this is a guideline for perfect 5E lessons, not how to get there. Other chapters may provide that information, so as long as teachers new to this mode of teaching understand that it may take several lessons focusing on different aspects of the model to finally be able to describe their lesson characteristics as being totally inquiry (according to this model) and work towards this goal, then this is a useful guide! Remember both the teacher and the students need time to be comfortable with this pedagogy but it does give students more ownership for their own learning and that is worth the effort.

Tina Harris  (Bloomington, IN)
Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN)

  • on Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:42 PM

I love the Picture Perfect books and this chapter serves as a concise overview of the instructional model used (5E) in each of the chapters of the book.

Wendy Ruchti  (Pocatello, ID)
Wendy Ruchti (Pocatello, ID)

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