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Chasing Vermeer: A Flashlight Readers Activity

This innovative online experience offers activities related to Chasing Vermeer and author Blue Balliett that fans will love, from author chats to slideshows.


3–5, 6–8

Activity Type

  • Interactive Whiteboard Activities
  • Book Resources

Blue Balliett, a Flashlight Readers interactive literacy experience, brings Chasing Vermeer and other popular books by Blue Balliett to life.

Students can:

  • Make a Masterpiece Match by matching a famous work of art to its artist, with help from clues
  • Report for The Hyde Park Times by choosing a painting and answering a set of questions about it
  • Decode a secret message in Pattern Puzzles with help from clues
  • Watch (and listen to!) Blue’s Photo Album that shares images from her office
  • Read about Chasing Vermeer that shares where the author found her inspiration for the book
  • Read about the illustrator, Brett Helquist
  • Learn about the next book in the series The Wright 3
  • Read “For You, From Blue,” a few words of advice for aspiring writers
  • Meet the author, who talks about growing up with Vermeer, writing mysteries, and more
  • Read a Q&A with the author about why she likes writing and how she does it
  • Find out Blue Balliett’s favorite books
  • Get a list of books that fans of Chasing Vermeer would love
  • Read a sample chapter of Chasing Vermeer in “Discover the Book”
  • Play Pentominoes by dragging and dropping shapes onto a grid to make them fit

Learning Objectives

While participating in “Flashlight Readers,” students will:

  • Offer observations, make connections, react, speculate, interpret, and raise questions in response to text
  • Identify and discuss book themes, characters, plots, and settings
  • Connect their experiences with those of the author and/or with characters from the books
  • Support predictions, interpretations, conclusions, etc. with examples from text
  • Practice key reading skills and strategies (cause-and-effect, problem/solution, compare-and-contrast, summarizing, etc.)
  • Monitor their own comprehension
  • Discuss ideas from the book with you, the author, and/or other students online

Benchmarks for Blue Balliett Flashlight Readers Lesson Plans

Lesson 1: Picture the Process! Lesson Plan

  • Language Arts Standards (4th Ed.)
    • Develops the topic with simple facts
    • Organizes details chronologically
    • Uses technology to create and publish written work
  • Working With Others
    • Participates in a variety of group and individual activities
    • Provides feedback in a constructive manner and recognizes the importance of seeking and receiving constructive feedback in a non-defensive manner
  • Technology
    • Applies technology to compose and publish written work

Lesson 2: Do You See What I See? Lesson Plan

  • Language Arts
    • Understands reasons for varied interpretations of visual media
    • Uses reading skills and strategies to understand a variety of informational texts
    • Uses new information to adjust and extend personal knowledge base
  • Art Connections
  • Knows the similarities and differences in the meanings of common terms used in the various arts (e.g., form, line, contrast)

Lesson 3: Patterns and Pentominoes Lesson Plan

  • Mathematics
    • Uses a variety of strategies to understand problem situations
  • Thinking and Reasoning
    • Tests a hypothesis, throws out an unsuccessful hypothesis, and formulates a new hypothesis
    • Selects criteria or rules for category membership that are relevant and important
  • Working With Others
    • Works cooperatively within a group to complete tasks, achieve goals, and solve problems
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Susan Cheyney

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