When you are going fishing in the Information World, think about SMILKA the Penguin.  Penguins catch fish to eat in the real world, and SMILKA with his boots and hat and checkered vest is here to help you catch information in the Information World.

It is just as difficult to catch what you want in the sea of information as it is for penguins to catch fish.  But penguins do it and so can you.  You just need to have some strategies.  That is where SMILKA can help.


Spelling Meaning Index Last Name Keywords Try Again then Ask for help
How do you spell the word or topic you are looking for? What does the word you are looking for mean? Where do you begin to find information? If you are studying a person, use his last name. What are some keywords associated with your word or topic? If you don't succeed the first time, try again.

If you still have trouble, ask for help.

Strategies for spelling Strategies for meaning Strategies for  searching Strategies for finding people Strategies for getting keywords Persistence is good, but ask for help before you get frustrated.
Try to sound it out; use other strategies you know for making sense of new words.

Use a dictionary

Ask a friend

Ask a teacher or librarian

Use the BROWSE command on the computer


Dictionaries give you precise definitions.  They tell  you what something is.

They can also tell you where something comes from..

They can tell you when something happened.

They can tell you who someone is.

Not all dictionaries are alike.

Try more than one.


  People have dictionaries of their own. They are called biographical dictionaries.  Check one of these.

Find out when the person lived.

Find out where the person lives or lived.

Find out what the person did that made him famous. 

Kings, queens, emperors, and a few others are the only ones you can look up by their first names.

(Example: Princess Diana, Queen Victoria, Caesar)

Keywords are words that are closely related to your word that will help you find your topic.  For example, you may want to find information about a wombat.  If you can find nothing about wombats, you will want to use other keywords such as animal, Australia and marsupial.  If you have not used a dictionary or an encyclopedia you may not know these words, and will be stuck.

They may be words like diet, habitat, and or young but these are specific things you want to know about your animal.  You will need to do a two-word (Boolean)  search to find information about the diet of a wombat.

Sometimes just re-doing your search will help.  Maybe you pushed a wrong key and spelled the word wrong the first time.

Ask for help when you get stuck.

Ask for help before you get frustrated.


Updated 08/22/09    /    The QueSPER website is maintained by Carol J. Fox;   Teacher-Librarian   /   Visitor NumberHit Counter since 03/23/07  /    1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009   All rights reserved   /    Email:     /   Use and Connection Policies     Home