5E Lesson – Conservation of Energy


The main topic this lesson seeks to explore is Conservation of Energy.  For many students, the relationships behind the conservation of energy can be difficult to visualize.  This 5E lesson will allow students to actively explore energy relationships in an engaging and detailed manner.  By the end of this lesson, students will be to describe the relationships behind the conservation of energy and define kinetic and potential energy.  This is a full inquiry lesson because it displays all the features of inquiry with the following variations: questions-4, evidence-2, analysis-3, explain-2, connection-2, and communication-1. In summary, the lesson is more self-directed and student-centered and can be defined as a guided inquiry lesson.

For modifications, standards, technology integration, learning objectives, and assessment, see the lesson plan below.

Lesson Resources

5E Energy Lesson Plan – 5E lesson plan that provides related standards, learning goals, modifications, assessment plans, and lesson procedure.

5E Energy Worksheet – Student handout that will be completed and facilitate the 5E process.

5E Energy Presentation – Teaching presentation designed to supplement the 5E process.


The 5E method for teaching allows for substantially deeper scientific inquiry.  Students explore unfamiliar concepts and utilize their experiences to explain what is occurring and then extend their discoveries to other concepts.  Additionally, just like other forms of inquiry based learning, 5E promotes student engagement.  This particular topic is a good fit with the 5E model because it allows students to investigate the energy relationships on their own and develop more meaningful learning.  A few potential difficulties in the 5E model are releasing the students before they are prepared for the level of inquiry as well as difficulties in the Extend phase of the lesson.  I would address these by making sure that 5E was not the first time my students had been exposed to inquiry as well as providing greater scaffolding in the Extend section, possibly in the form of guiding questions.


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