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Ely Folk School

Writing With Your Child, For Your Child

with John Kopp


Thursdays, October 14, 21, 28 & November 4, 11, & 18, 2021
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Tuition: $60  Materials: $20

This class takes place over the course of 6 Thursdays. By the end of class, you and your elementary schooler will have written and illustrated your own book! 

This 6-week class (one session per week) was designed for parent & child pairs. The intention is for each pair to write their own personalized children’s book. There are no prerequisites or level of skill necessary. In recognition that attending all 6 consecutive sessions can be challenging, the class is designed to accommodate the occasional missing of a session.  

The story line for your book will reflect values you identify as those your family hold dear. This allows your child to learn more about what is important in your family. The main characters will be identified/selected by your child because they are looked up to, superheroes or other popular characters. The writing and illustrating will occur during class sessions and at home between classes.

A tangible outcome is intended to be a 16 to 32 page illustrated children’s book. The instructor will use one he has written, “Asking Willow”, as a model for teaching, but individual creativity will be encouraged. The original version of you and your child’s book (manuscript) will make a great family keep sake. A photocopy of the manuscript can be easily bound and made into a wonderfully personalized gift for someone important in your child’s life, such as a grandparent.  

The class was developed for children 8 years of age, but it is applicable for a couple years either younger or older. It was also developed from the idea that by working in a group setting, learning can occur that is well beyond what any of us can anticipate. It leads us on a journey in the experience and development of community, a sense we are there for each other.

A small group allows from participation and support from the instructor. The ideal class size is eight parent-child pairs. So, while still a small group, it is large enough to generate a wealth of creative energy.

The class presentations and activities are designed to be individualized for each parent child pair. While specific techniques are demonstrated, and specific activities are set up, you are the expert on your child’s preferred modes of learning.  

During the first session, parents receive a handout that serves as a reference to important points covered during the class and why various activities are selected. Materials for writing and illustrating will also be handed out. They are presented as a gift addressed to your child and you. It is a way to help your child understand just how much their involvement in the class is appreciated.  

The class philosophy comes from an understanding that if it is made enjoyable, your creativity will flourish. The criteria for determining if the class was worthwhile are intangible. Did you and your child enjoy the class? Does your child know more about values your family hold dear? Do you feel you and your child learned to create at a higher level? Do your feel your child has had some seeds planted that will help in making good choices? Did you and your child feel inspired and supported by the group?  

Contact information is listed below. Please feel free to reach out if you have questions you would like to discuss before deciding whether or not to sign up.  

Questions on the class can be directed to:
John Kopp, class instructor

Only one registration per parent-child pair is necessary. 

About the Instructor: John Kopp has had a career of experiences working withparents and children of all abilities. After graduating from NDSU with a master’s degree in psychology, he spent the next 37 years working with families and caregivers in the development and implementation of positive ways to work with challenging behavior. He knows firsthand the importance of families connecting around important values and having fun in the process.

While living in Eastern North Dakota he and his wife regularly brought their children to Minnesota to camp, hike, and canoe. Some of his favorite memories with his family were visits to Ely, and now he has moved here to enjoy it every day. He likes to boast that his kids are jealous that he gets to live up here in the Northwoods. John is a member of the local Writers Group and you can see his and other group members writings in a collection entitled Just Breathe in the Ely Summer Times 2021.

  • Oct 14th, 2021
    Thu for 6 weeks from 6:30 - 8:00 pm

Ely Folk School

209 E Sheridan St
Ely, MN 55731 Get directions

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