Discovery Education Social Studies Techbook builds instruction around complex essential questions that guide inquiry.
The 5E Instructional Model for inquiry is based on the constructivist approach to learning, which states that learners build or construct new ideas on top of old ideas. Each of the 5Es describes a phase of learning: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. The 5Es allows students and teachers to experience common activities, to use and build on prior knowledge and experience, to construct meaning, and to continually assess their understanding of a concept. Resources in each Social Studies Techbook concept are organized around the 5E instructional model based on their use by the student: engaging with a concept, exploring resources, explaining understanding, elaborating though deeper investigation, and evaluating understanding. The inquiry learning cycle is not linear, so you can move between the 5Es for content and resources to best meet the needs of students.
Social Studies Techbook Model Lessons offer an inquiry-based instructional pathway for approaching each concept. Access model lessons from a concept’s Model Lesson tab.
View the lesson’s essential question in Lesson Overview, and explore sessions for suggested activities and ideas for instruction. Model lessons can be used as written, modified based on the needs of your students or classroom, or used as inspiration for new approaches to teaching each concept.
In the Engage stage of inquiry learning, students first encounter and identify an instructional task. Here they make connections between past and present learning experiences, lay the organizational groundwork for the activities ahead, and stimulate their involvement in the anticipation of these activities. Asking a question, defining a problem, showing a surprising event, and acting out a problematic situation are all ways to engage students and focus them on the instructional task. In Social Studies Techbook, the Engage tab will contain resources to create interest, generate curiosity, raise questions, and elicit responses that uncover what the students know or think about the concept/topic. This may include videos, animations, reading passages, and other types of resources that will help your students build their schema in this content area.
The Exploration stage provides students with a common set of conceptual learning experiences to identify and develop content knowledge, processes, and skills. Students often work together in teams, building a base of common experience which assists them in the process of sharing and communicating. The teacher acts as a facilitator, providing materials and guiding the students’ focus. The students’ inquiry process drives the instruction during an exploration. In Social Studies Techbook, the Explore tab provides resources to help students test predictions and hypotheses and record observations and ideas. Explore also contains interactive activities that check for understanding and provides opportunities to apply what they have learned.
In the Explain stage, students begin to put the abstract information that they have been gathering into a more concrete, communicable form. Here, formal definitions, explanations, and labels are associated with the knowledge that the learner has gained through the Engage and Explore activities. Students are also encouraged to put these explanations into their own words to demonstrate understanding. In Social Studies Techbook, the Explain tab provides students with opportunities to sharpen and clarify their understanding of content, including visualization activities, graphic organizers, and references to help build knowledge.
Elaborate activities encourage learners to expand on the concepts learned, make connections to other related concepts, and apply their understandings to the world around them. In Social Studies Techbook, the Elaborate tab provides students with interactive activities, including document-based investigations and current events connections. Students also have access to related primary and secondary text and multimedia sources.
Evaluation should be an ongoing process that occurs throughout a lesson, providing for self assessment as well as formal assessment as the learning occurs. Redirection and remediation opportunities should be offered, as needed. In Social Studies Techbook, the Evaluate tab provides multiple options for student assessment, including brief and extended constructed response items and multiple-choice questions. This section also includes multimedia review flashcards.