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The 7Es of Lesson Planning

I initially came across this idea a few years ago when I was using some materials provided by Upd8 (Science ASE Resource) and then again when teaching WIKID, a KS3 Science scheme of work.

I have since found out that the The 7es was an extension of the 5E Constructivist learning cycle first created by Rodger Bybee when developing the Biological Science Curriculum Study (BSCS) in America. See link for their work https://bscs.org/bscs-5e-instructional-model/

Whilst the original concept was never meant to be a 5 or 7 part lesson I have personally found that using the 5E/ 7Es provided a clear, rational framework for designing individual Science lessons as well as schemes of learning. I tend to use all seven stages in a lesson but this depends on the complexity of the subject matter I am teaching. Sometimes it may take more than one lesson to complete the cycle.

See below cycle (from upd8 WIKID)

So what is it? The 7 Es stand for the following. Elicit, Engage, Explore,Explain, Elaborate, Extend and Evaluate. The following explanation is my take on the 7Es that has been adapted from the BSCS 5E Engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate.

In most cases you will start with the “Elicit”. Here you can find out what the students know (prior knowledge). This can be done in a variety of ways, such as “Quick Quizzes, MCQs, Post-it notes, mini whiteboards etc. This is also a good opportunity to deal with students misconceptions or test material that you have visited previously that is needed to understand the lesson. So for example in a Science lesson, where a student might be investigating whether light is needed for photosynthesis I would test knowledge of photosynthesis, respiration and the starch test as part of my quick quiz.

The next stage is the “Engage” stage. In this stage you want to engage interest and curiosity, raise “The BIG questions” and introduce new learning through teacher explanation modelling. Following on from the example above I might ask. “Do plants need light to make food?” I might give them a brief explanation or some information about photosynthesis to help them make a prediction OR to support the explore stage.

During the “Explore” stage, pupils should be given opportunities to work together following the initial teacher input to solve/explore problems, building concepts through first hand experience. (This stage is independent of you, their teacher but may involve scaffolds depending on the complexity of the task). As the teacher, you should set up the task, but then become the facilitator, helping students by asking questions and observing. Again referring to the science example above pupils would then undertake some practical investigative work to answer the big question. NB Depending on the group and to reduce cognitive load I might break up the practical guidance into several steps.

Following the explore stage I would next go onto the “Explain” stage of the lesson. During this stage I would use what students had discovered to help them build the concept/knowledge further. This would involved checking and asking questions. Using their knowledge gained from experience to develop the concepts further. So again, using the science example above, the teacher would draw out the findings from the experiment and ask students to compare to predictions. Using deep questioning and also explanation/modelling the teacher builds the scientific explanation.

The next stage is the stage that will be KEY in assessing their progress, knowledge and understanding. This stage is “Elaborate” Students may work independently during this stage to demonstrate learning. This is where students formalise and apply their learning. At this stage the scaffolds are removed. Students would be involved in independent practice. Using the example above the students would answer the big question. Does a plant need light to make food? Explain why using your evidence and scientific knowledge.

In some cases you may require an additional “Extend” stage to challenge all learners. In this stage you are encouraging the students to apply or extend the concepts and skills in new situations. Students make connections not just in the subject/ideas studied but also beyond it. They are able to apply ideas/generalise and transfer principles. This might involve students explaining how they might test if chlorophyll was needed got photosynthesis or interpreting data from other similar experiments.

While it is expected that evaluation will continue throughout the process, the evaluate section is the section where you the teacher evaluate the learning that has occurred. This might involve peer/self assessment or marking. It might involve questioning or quick low stage quizzing to establish understanding of the concepts. This should also include self-reflection and evaluation from the student.

Lesson plan-Ease of planning

As an AST and SLE I have used this planning method a lot, particularly when coaching. Again I have found that is has often had major impact on teaching and learning and on lesson observation outcomes. I passionately believe that this structure is not just relevant to Science but to is also useful to other subjects too. Below are a couple of resources that I think will help you if you are trialling this method for the first time.

explore-The E’s of lesson planning– This is a PowerPoint that has a few ideas for the type of thing you might do for each of the Es

#7ePlan[1] This is a planning template, that will help with the structure of you lesson. (Any questions just ask) Editable version of the E plan Lesson plan #ease of lesson planning 

This is an example of it in use for Science lessons. This lesson was also graded at OUTSTANDING.Lesson Plan_ 5 OBS 


This is an example of a Science lesson (21cScience Biology B6-lesson 4-The neurone) Lesson 4_The neurone

For other information, these bloggers are also good sources.


16 responses to “The 7Es of Lesson Planning

  1. srcav says:

    Thanks for this, it has given me a lot to think about, I will be looking at it in more detail tomorrow.

  2. Christian says:

    Love the 7E plan. Any chance you might be able to send an editable version via email? Thank you for an excellent recourse.

  3. I love the elicit aspect – giving credit to the fact that our kids already know heaps!!! Love the snappy style too.

  4. Loveed the #pedagoolondon session. Is therer an editable version of the pdf version? cheeky I know but SOLO integration is fab

  5. […] @HThompson1982 In her post Hayley shows how to use 7Es to help plan those Outstanding lessons. I love the simplicity of this. Hayley’s ideas are her own but the 7E idea is from elsewhere. The key point?  Collaboration. She’s used PLTS in her planning. I suggest using TRICS (see page on this site to find out how they work better than PLTS – more student-friendly, learner-centric). educatingmatters.wordpress.com/the-6-es-of-lesson-planning/ … […]

  6. pinterest says:

    When someone writes an article he/she maintains the image
    of a user in his/her brain that how a user can know it. So that’s why this piece of writing
    is outstdanding. Thanks!

  7. Peter Hoskins says:

    7Es is an extension of the original 5Es from BSCS in America – it is a learning cycle and should not be taken as a 5 (or indeed 7 part lesson) – a cycle of learning could take several lessons. As a former consultant (now back in school) I did allot of action research on the 5Es in collaboration with BSCS. Use this link to review their original work: http://bscs.org/bscs-5e-instructional-model

    • Thank you for this. Sorry I have not logged into this account for a long time. I had seen the 5/7 Es as part of a Science Scheme or learning called Upd8 WIKID. I have used the structure for a single lesson and also over multiple lessons depending on the complexity of the concept. The idea makes sense in terms of how to structure a lesson even though this wasn’t the original meaning. In terms of Action Research using this method from BSCS to support lesson planning has lead to exceptional learning and outcomes for students.

      Thank you for showing me the original origins.

  8. Your Name says:

    it helps me a lot. much easier than the traditional one.. but can you please post a sample 7e plans about science, math, and other subjects? thanks tho

  9. Glen Mangali says:

    Thank you very much. I would like to ask if I can share your material to my colleagues? Thanks!

  10. Mary Jane S. Desaca says:

    Please send me a sample of 7Es Lesson Planning in Science

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