Inquiry Process Description

Inquiry (5E Learning Cycle Model)


Capture the student's attention; stimulate thinking, access prior knowledge.

Teachers can introduce an object, a photograph, an event or question to make connections.


Students are given time to think, plan, investigate, and organize information.

Students establish relationships, observe patterns, identify variables, and question events

Objects and phenomena are explored. Hands-on activities with guidance are performed. Scientific Method

Engagement brings about disequilibrium; exploration initiates the process of equilibration.

The teachers role in the exploration phase is that of facilitator or coach


Students reflect upon, analyze, clarify and modify details from their explorations.

Students explain new understandings, concepts and skills; clarity and cohesion is sought.

Teacher's scaffold learning proceeses in this stage by providing formal, scientific or technical explanations while referencing details in the engagement and exploration stages.


Students expand and solidify their understanding of concepts and/or apply them in real world situations

Students extend their understandings and skills to new situations

Students share, defend and solidify their approaches and form conclusions.


Scoring tools or rubrics can be teacher and/or student generated.

Students assess their knowledge and understanding by putting their skills and abilities to use.

Teachers evaluate learners informally during the 5 E processes and formally after Inquiry.

Students should receive feedback on the adequacy of their responses

5E Articles

Early Elementary

5E Model's_Handout.pdf


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