Sharon Meyers teaches Minnesota History to 6th graders at Becker Middle School in Becker, Minnesota. As an experienced teacher, Sharon knows that a lot of kids think reading text books is b-o-r-i-n-g. To engage her students , Sharon came up with a great way to jump start the school year: She teaches them about Dorothy Molter, one of Minnesota’s most inspiring cultural icons.
During a visit to the Dorothy Molter Museum several years ago, Sharon took detailed pictures of the museum’s displays. Back at Becker Middle School, Sharon laminated the pictures and set up stations around her classroom, essentially re-creating the layout of the museum site.
Then, during “Dorothy Molter Day,” Sharon asked her students to go around the room and visit each station. They learned about Dorothy’s paddle fence, her homemade root beer, and the strength that Dorothy needed to survive the challenges of life in the Northwoods.
“Dorothy Molter Day” is now a well established tradition at Becker Middle School, and children look forward to being in 6th grade because they know they will get a chance to brew their own root beer and create a canoe paddle to decorate their lockers.
The “Dorothy Molter Day” activities have even expanded beyond Sharon’s class to include all 6th graders at Becker Middle School. Now, thanks to Sharon’s creative teaching style, approximately 230 students hear Dorothy Molter’s story every year. Many of them have so much fun that they convince their parents to bring them to the museum for a visit!
Does Sharon’s story inspire you to teach others about Dorothy Molter?
The Dorothy Molter Museum has a free, downloadable education guide to get you started!