Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Using Destiny Quest to Support Authentic Writing

The Destiny library management system allows students--and any school patron--to create an account. Once logged in, users can access Destiny Quest, which allows users to search the catalog, manage virtual bookshelves, place books on hold and view their accounts, send friend requests, make book recommendations, and review books.

We begin using Destiny Quest with our students in third grade. During scheduled library classes, we talk with students about the QuestHome page, which site administrators can customize to include books lists that are meaningful to their students. We also talk about the friend request feature, and we encourage students to accept friend requests to build a community of readers and students who talk about reading and books. In fourth and fifth grade, we teach students how to make thoughtful book recommendations to friends, and we also take time to write short book reviews.

As students move into the middle school, their recommendations and book reviews take on more meaning. We work with our language arts teachers to create lessons related to book review writing so students begin to see how their writing builds authenticity into our catalog and relates directly to every-day kinds of tasks.

Destiny Quest offers a safe, monitored online opportunity for students to write for real and immediate audiences, as well as to write for authenticity. As the TL in your building, why not suggest Destiny Quest as an alternative to traditional book review writing or book reports? Your teachers and students may be pleasantly surprised by the level of engagement and excitement that Destiny Quest brings!