The aim of this study was to explore a group of prospective primary teachers' conceptual understanding of diffusion and osmosis as they implemented a 5E constructivist model and related materials in a science methods course. Fifty prospective primary teachers' ideas were elicited using a pre- and post-test and delayed post-test survey consisting of ten two-tier questions of which an explanatory part was integral. Individual interviews were conducted with six prospective teachers at the end of the implementation of the unit using four questions. Test scores were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Post-instructional interviews were analyzed qualitatively. Statistical analysis using one-way ANOVA of student test scores pointed to statistically significant differences between pre- and post- and delayed post-test (p < 0.05). A qualitative analysis of the prospective teachers' explanations in the two-tier questions revealed changes in their ideas overtime. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses suggest that the teaching activities promoted students' conceptual understanding. No statistically significant differences were found between post-test and delayed post-test scores, suggesting that the teaching activities based on 5E model enabled students to retain their new conceptual understanding.