Education alumna co-authors article for educational journal, Science Activities

Caleigh Fidler Blum '16 has co-authored an article that includes a featured lesson where first-grade students recognized and replicated the moon's pattern of appearance within one month, using the represented ABCDE pattern rule.

Recently earning her master’s degree in K-6 education from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Caleigh Fidler Blum’s ’16 final project was an innovative lesson plan involving using pattern rules to predict the moon’s appearance within a month’s cycle. This was the basis for an article Blum co-authored with Amy Taylor, associate professor in the department of early childhood, elementary, middle, literacy and special education at UNCW, for the educational journal, “Science Activities.”

Blum completed her bachelor of arts degree in elementary education at Elon in 2016 and is currently a first-grade teacher at Lake Norman Charter Elementary School in Huntersville, North Carolina.

At the conclusion of this moon phase journal activity, students analyzed all of their sketches to try to identify an emerging pattern.

The abstract reads, “Children are very curious about the world around them. You may find them peering at tadpoles in a pond, counting ants on a log, or wondering about the stars, the sun, and the moon. I have been asked many times: Is the moon really made of cheese? Do astronauts live on the moon? Why does the moon look different every time I look up? Introducing young learners to our universe, beyond what their eyes can see, is a powerful teaching moment that primary teachers like myself get the pleasure to experience. Fostering students’ early curiosities regarding our universe is one of the first steps to opening their minds to the vision of endless possibilities. Making observations, asking questions, and recognizing patterns are a few of the initial skills a young science learner should be encouraged to practice. In this particular unit, first-grade students make observations of the sky including the differences in features and apparent movement of celestial objects. This unit and the featured lesson emphasize the use of students’ prior knowledge and observations of the sky and identifying patterns to predict and infer how the moon changes during the lunar cycle.”

Throughout the unit and featured lesson, first-grade students recognized the moon’s pattern of appearance within one month. By observing the moon phases initially through structured inquiry and recording data in a moon journal, students are able to use their prior knowledge of patterns to create concrete understanding of what the moon’s change in appearance looks like in a month.


Caleigh Blum & Amy Taylor (2022). Phases of the moon: as simple as ABCDE teaching the phases of the moon to first graders using patterns, Science Activities, DOI: 10.1080/00368121.2022.2080633