Thursday, January 29, 2015

Anatomy of a Pathfinder: Aiding Your Students With Their Research

When I ask students what they think a pathfinder is, they don't know exactly what it is. "Take apart the word", I say, emphasizing path-finder.  "Finding a path?", one student replies. "You're on the right track," I respond. A good library pathfinder is created by the teacher-librarian and provides the list of print and non-print resources necessary for a particular topic. Most of the time, resources that are available in that library are shared in the pathfinder. Not all pathfinders will look alike and have the same print and non-print sources. (See "Pathfinder Samples" on the page.)  Teachers can request that a specific pathfinder be created to go along with the class curriculum, i.e. "Romeo and Juliet". That is a very specific pathfinder, as opposed to "Shakespeare".   The Dewey Decimal number for the topic area should be listed so students know what area of the school or public library to find the book. (Make sure you have good signage.) Below you will find Buffy Hamilton's excellent video tutorial on how she creates a pathfinder.



ABOUT PATHFINDERS
How to Make a Good Library Pathfinder-  from Amy C. Mann, MLS

Pathfinders: Helping Students Find Paths to Information- article from Information Today, Inc.

Template for Creating Pathfinders


SAMPLE LIBRARY PATHFINDERS
ipl2 Pathfinder Listing- 10 categories

Methuen High School Pathfinders

Monarch Library Pathfinders- K-5

Pathfinder Index- for teens

Pathfinders for K-5 Graders

Ridgefield Park Junior-Senior High School- over 120 pathfinders!

Sand Creek Middle School Pathfinders

Springfield Township Library Pathfinders

Thematic Pathfinders for All Ages

Thomas Jefferson High School Research Guides

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