If you like a good book filled with wacky characters you will enjoy
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett. The book is illustrated by Brett
Helquist who also illustrated A Series of Unfortunate Events.
The illustrations hold clues to solving the mystery.
If you liked
you will also like...
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs.
Basil E.Frankenweiler by
The Westing Game
by Ellen Raskin
The Unseen by
Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Lady Grade Mysteries by Lady Grace Cavendish
Apprentice by Laurie R. King
carries around a set of Pentominoes and even dresses like an “F” for
Halloween. Use the Internet to learn more about pentominoes. You
can also play pentominoes online!!
(2) Petra was named after a famous
city. Visit Petra: City of Stone at the Natural History Museum in
http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/petra/ Be ready to discuss what you
have learned. You can find some related sources on the web to go along with
the site. Click
here. Glance over these activities and plan to do one at home to share
with the class.
Visit the site of the archeologists that
Petra: The Great Temple
(3) Historical Letters There are
many letters mentioned in Chasing Vermeer. Read the famous letters,
print one of them in its original format.
Letter to George III 1765
Letters Between Meriwether Lewis and Thomas Jefferson 1803
Letter from Fidel Castro as a young boy
President Lincoln to Senate
Letter from the Civil War
Letters from the Prairie 1870
Beatrix Potter's Picture Letters 1893
Mrs. Roosevelt to D.A.R.
Letters to President Roosevelt 1939
Letters from WWII 1942
Jackie Robinson 1950
President Roosevelt's Letters to his
Fred-Ted Letter 1890
Alexander Graham Bell's Letter to Children 1887
Elvis to President Nixon
President Nixon's Resignation Letter
(4) Ms. Hussey talked to her students about
letters. Take a look at some of the letters below. Write a
letter to your parents about Chasing Vermeer. Explain what has
happened so far and tell them what you think of the book. You can
include any questions that might be forming in your mind. You can
use the site below to write your letter.
Petra found a book in the giveaway bin. She read a few paragraphs and
noticed that the author discussed the raining of creatures from the sky
(page 42). She notices the author is Charles Fort and the book is called
Lo! You can find the Lo! on the Internet but it is very hard to
decipher. Read the article Raining Cats and Dogs and Fish and Frogs…to
find out more about this weird phenomenon.
While looking for something Calder thought might be art, he uncovered a box
his grandmother had given him. On the front of the box was a famous
painting by Vermeer called The Geographer. You will visit two
websites to learn more about this painting.
Be ready to discuss what you have learned.
Calder was thinking about The Geographer (page 73) and he learned about
Vermeer’s life. Go to this site and choose the section
Be ready to discuss Vermeer's life.
Petra’s Halloween costume came from one of Vermeer’s painting called A
Lady Writing. She later found out that the painting had been stolen in
transit. Do an interactive analysis of this painting at this site.
Ms. Hussey was talking to her class and mentioned the 1990 art theft at the
Isabella Stewart Gardner in Boston. Go to this website and hear an interview
with the producer of a new documentary called
Stolen: The Search for the
The Theft of the Mona Lisa
(10) Some people think Vermeer used a “camera
obscura” Use the sites below to learn about this camera and decide for
yourself whether you think Vermeer used a camera obscura.
(11) In the letter (page 108), the art
thief says that only 26 of the works attributed to Vermeer are actually
his. He goes on to say the “real” Vermeers were done between 1656 and
1669. Take a look at all the Vermeers and decide why you think the thief
Real life Mystery
A Treasure's Trove
students are reading Michael Stadther's book, A Treasure's Trove.
Readers decipher clues with in the words and illustrations in the book.
These clues lead to jeweled brooches "In order to
claim a jewel, one must find one of the twelve 18K gold tokens, each one
redeemable for one jewel, that Stadther has hidden in twelve separate
locations throughout the continental USA. "The tokens are not located in
caves or underwater, or on mountaintops, or on private property. Nothing has
to be moved or lifted to find them. They are hidden in places accessible to
everyone," Stadther says."
Below find related links to this
Treasure's Trove Homepage
On this website you will find all kinds of
activities to do while we are reading Chasing Vermeer. Notice
that the activities are numbered and you will be asked to do different
activities on different days.
You can also further explore mysteries as you
take a look at science mysteries, art mysteries, and history mysteries.
list to use in your project
King Tut's Curse
Mystery of the Black
Roanoke: The Lost Colony
Mysteries of Çatalhöyük
The Shroud of Turin
Mysteries of the Nile
Salem Witch Trials (see list above)
Roswell/Area 51 (see list above)
Online Science Mysteries
Mysteries of Deep Space
The Lost City of Atlantis
Tour the Bermuda Triangle
TUNGUSKA: The Cosmic
Mystery of the Century
Bermuda Triangle (see list above)
Egyptian Pyramids (see list above)
Black Holes (see list above)
Jersey Devil (see list above)
Vermeer on the Web
About Johannes Vermeer Art
Vermeer--The Complete Works
Mysteries on the Web
Two Minute Mysteries
Fin, Fur and Feather Bureau of Investigation
Museum of Unnatural Mystery
Read Sherlock Holmes
Hardy Boys http://www.bayportgazette.com/
FBI for Kids
What is Art?
(12) One of the things Ms. Hussey
wanted her students to think about it "what is art"? Today you are
going to take a look at the work of different artists and determine whether
you think what they do is "art". Before you start looking at the art read
Art? and open this Word document.
Harrod Blank Art Cars
Art Cars in
If you would like to design an art car using
Microsoft Paint open
Right click on the image and and click COPY. Find Microsoft Paint
under PROGRAMS and choose ACCESSORIES and choose MICROSOFT PAINT. Choose
EDIT and PASTE the car into Paint. Once the car is open in Paint use
the program to rotate the car. After you finish your designing you
will need to save the image as a GIF or a JPEG, do not save it as a Paint
image. After the image is saved open a Word document and INSERT you
picture. Send to the color printer.
The Art of Anamorphosis
Ambassadors by Holbein is one of the most famous examples of
Anamorphosis. To learn more about the scientific instruments in this
online lesson (do not use this link) about The Ambassadors. You will
need to open this Word
document. To do this right click on this link; save the document
on your "H" drive. When you are prompted to open--click on that. Fill
in as many answers as you can.
The Well by
Anamorphic Art of Kelly Houle
How to See in 3D
(without the glasses!)
Click here to see a
of Ambiguous Art, Hidden Art, Impossible Art , Mysterious Art,
trompe l'oeil, Anamorphic Art
(permission for use pending)