Hands-On Learning, Pedagogy

The 5E Instructional Model: Elaborate

The 5E Instructional Model continues…

Today I’m going to delve into the fourth component of the 5E Instructional Model… Elaborate. I’ve also heard it referred to as the “Extend” component.


I have to admit that for me, this is the most difficult part, and this is the area of instruction that I need to improve on. I find that time is a big issue when it comes to extending our learning simply because the curriculum is so deadline and test-driven that it is hard to fit it all in. But, that’s a blog post for another day.

So, what does it mean when we say “elaborate“?


In the broadest sense it means that it’s time for your kiddos to learn about a concept at a deeper level by applying what they have already learned. So how can they do this?

  1. Do you remember those questions that your students may have written in the “W” column of their KWL charts? Well, now is a good time to let them do a little research. How you prefer them to present it is up to you… heck, let them decide.
  2. Let students create a solution to a problem that may be prevalent within the concept they have just learned about. For example… create a mini “oil spill” and let them determine a scientific solution to cleaning it up.
  3. Design an experiment – this could easily tie into numbers one and two above.
  4. Compare and Contrast activities are a good fit for the Elaborate component. When students compare different concepts that they have learned, they solidify their learning as well as make connections across different concepts.
  5. Career Research…. what kind of cool careers are out there that this concept lends itself to?
  6. Cross-Curricular Activities – For example, maybe you are studying the middle ages in social studies. Students can use their knowledge of force and motion to design a better catapult or grappling hook, etc… Which leads me to…
  7. STEM activities that incorporate the new concepts!!


My next post will wrap this series up with an entry about the final component of the 5E Instructional Model: Evaluate. I will discuss how the 5E Model is not linear, but really more cyclical in nature… HUH?

Until next time

Happy Teaching!



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