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Models and Strategies:

This page outlines the instructional models that I use for unit planning plus a few specific strategies that I like to refer to as I plan my lessons.  I am most concerned that student learning is deep and profound. If learning doesn't result in changed behavior then it hasn't been successful.  These models and strategies, I beleive, have been most effective for me in planning my lessons and delivering instruction to my students.


The outlines below are my summaries and interpretation based on a variety of sources and may differ slightly from the authors' original ideas and intent.

Plannng Models


5-E Model (Overall Unit model employed with VESTED model to plan and deliver lessons)

The 5-E model is the underlying strategy in planning the high school lessons.  It parallels the school's curriculum standards and the National Standards. approach to teaching science.  VESTED is a similar strategy that builds on the concepts of the 5-E model but specifically addresses differentiation and meeting the needs of diverse learners. 


Engage (parallels “view” from VESTED)

  • Initiates the learning task.

  • Connects past and present learning experiences.

  • Creates interest and generates curiosity.

  • Uncovers students’ current knowledge (pre-assessment).


Explore (parallels “explain” from VESTED)

  • Provides students with a common base of experiences.

  • Gives opportunities for creative thinking and skills development.

  • Students test predictions and form new predictions and hypotheses.

  • Students record observations and ideas.


Explain (parallels “speak” and overlaps in some cases “transform” from VESTED)

  • Students demonstrate conceptual understanding, skills and behaviors.

  • Students listen critically to others’ explanations.

  • Students develop vocabulary through applications of concepts.

  • Students learn to apply evidence.


Elaborate (parallels “extend” from VESTED)

  • Challenges and extends students’ conceptual understanding and skills.

  • Students use previous information to ask questions, propose solutions, make decisions.

  • Students apply concepts and skills to new situations.


Evaluate (parallels “transform” and in some cases “deliver” from VESTED)

  • Students demonstrate understanding of a concept or skills.

  • Students evaluate own progress.

  • Teachers evaluate students’ and their own progress.

  • Relies on alternate strategies for assessment (should be matched to pre-assessment).



VESTED is designed as a step-by-step model for lesson delivery that provides a structure so that all students have access to instruction and are therefore successful.   Although the 5-E model is the primary model for planning, lesson design will be documented around the VESTED strategy. VESTED will help demonstrate and document planning for differentiation for English Language Learners (ELLs) and assure that effort has been made to meet the needs of all students.


View (parallel to “engage” in 5-E and “Advance Organizer” from Ausubel but visual)

  • To see in order to understand (comprehension)

  • To be provided with visual cues and directions, specific modeling

  • To focus from a global perspective


Explain (parallel to “explore” in 5-E)

  • To participate in hands-on/minds-on activities with peers,

  • To share experiences,

  • To anticipate future relevance

  • To develop social skills

  • To develop social skills and relations with peer group


Speak (Parallel to “explain” in 5-E model but has some overlap with “explore”)

  • To speak formally with on another

  • Clarify understanding

  • Use native language support

  • To listen to native speakers

  • To hear ideas presented in many ways

  • To have key points clearly identified

  • To grapple with ideas


Transform (parallel somewhat to “explain” and “evaluate” of 5-E model, primarily focused on demonstrating understanding but can include an application to a new problem like 5-E “elaborate”)

  • To transition to formal use of English

  • To demonstrate attainment of formal knowledge and skill

  • To demonstrate breadth of knowledge and skill


Extend (parallel to “elaborate” in 5-E model)

  • To see again

  • Review with formal English

  • To review key concepts and further develop content literacy

  • To be challenged to go more in depth

  • To engage in more difficult, complex or novel task


Deliver (parallel to “evaluate” in 5-E model but viewed more as a presentation or performance of student work and understanding in VESTED)

  • To demonstrate mastery of content knowledge and targeted academic skills in English

  • To share innovations, ideas, and projects, Publish works

Instructional Strategies


The instructional strategies that follow are instructional models that will be used in lesson design and presentation.  Although aspects and theoretical underpinnings of these strategies will permeate the planning and delivery of instructional units they are not the primary models of lesson unit planning.  For the purposes of this study the 5-E model and the VESTED are the primary models for unit planning with Ausubel, Inquiry, Core Question Strategies and SDLOC used as strategies for planning and delivery of specific lessons within instructional units.


Ausubel (Direct instruction presentation model): (Ausubel model usually employed in lecture and built into PowerPoint presentations)

  • Begins by describing the goal of the lesson and employs lesson summary that is repeated at intervals throughout lesson (advance organizer)

  • Presentation goes from general to complex

  • Remind students of the big picture by using advance organizer (integrative reconciliation)

  • Promote active reception learning to help students relate new knowledge to prior schema (worksheet or graphic organizer used during PowerPoint)

  • Students need to clarify and apply what they learn (Usually a short activity built into or after PowerPoint presentation)


Inquiry (lab and overall instructional strategy):  (Aspects of Inquiry model used in labs and in overall organization of unit presentations)

  • Observe natural phenomena (goes along with 5-E engage and VESTED view strategy)

  • Ask and develop questions (In science the ability to ask questions is as important or more important as the ability to find answers)

  • Make predictions and hypothesize (First step in designing or conceptualizing an investigation)

  • Carry out an investigation (exploring natural phenomena through testing and experimenting-setting up a situation to observe natural phenomena)

  • Draw conclusions (inferences based on observations of the natural world)

  • Communicate findings (necessary for inquiry to become true science)


Core Questioning Strategy (Core Questioning strategy used to foster class discussion):

  • Develop Core Question (Important idea in open-ended question format):

  • Anticipate student responses

  • Plan Processing questions to develop the important idea

  • Conduct discussion employing Core question and Processing questions.


SDLOC Strategy (SDLOC will be used primarily with independent readings and discussions to develop questions to help students make sense of what they read):

SDLOC is an instructional method for learning new knowledge, skills and concepts.  Information that is collected through the senses is interpreted through the SDLOC framework.  SDLOC stands for Same, Different, Label, Operate, and Combine.  This method builds on the constructivist ideas supported by the 5-E model and Ausubel.  Prior knowledge is used as the starting point to build new understanding in SDLOC.

  • Same (Students make sense of new information by relating how the new information is similar (same) as what they already know)

  • Different (Students need to differentiate the new information for it to become independent and new to their present understandings)

  • Label (Students need to put a label on the information in order to recall it at a later time and to communicate with others)

  • Operate (Students need to use new knowledge in order for them to self assess and for the teacher to assess their understanding.)

  • Combine (combining new information with prior knowledge helps commit the new information to long term memory)

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