Mr. O'Donnell - Visual Art Teacher & Artist - Your Town Elementary -Your Town, GA
Info | Syllabus | Wish List | Fundraising | Arts Day | Drawing Club | Gallery | Web Quest | Bio | Links | Contact


"Without art we are just monkeys with car keys." - Anonymous

Welcome to Mr. O'Donnell's Art Room! Please browse through the information and links to learn about our visual art program and how you can help. Educate yourself about art education and become an advocate.



My visual art program is dedicated to providing children with the skills and knowledge needed to create, view, and understand a variety of visual media. This in turn will inspire and encourage creativity and problem-solving skills through exploration of a variety of artists, ideas, techniques and media. These experiences will be fun, challenging, and mind-expanding.

The arts, perhaps more than any other subject, help students to understand themselves and others. The arts help us to explore new worlds and see different perspectives while sharpening our imaginations, intellects and critical skills. The arts connect to everyday life as well as other subjects including language arts, science, social studies and math. We live in a visual world and through art education students can become creators of visual culture, not merely consumers.

A student places an animal print into the drying rack.



"ART stands for Attitude, Respect and Try"

"Never Say Can't!"

Classroom Rules

Always come in silently
Respect teachers, each other and yourself
Take care of supplies
I'll clean up after myself
Stand in line quietly

  1. Compliments
  2. "Treasure Tickets"
  3. Stickers/Pencils
  4. "Smiley" on class chart
  1. Warning
  2. Move Seat
  3. Time Out
  4. Detention/Parent phone call


Each grade comes to art for 45 minutes except for Kindergarten which lasts 35 minutes.
Students in grades K - 3 also sing the Art class Rap at the beginning of class:

"Here we are in art class;
it's better than the rest.
We're gonna learn a lot,
but there's 3 steps on our quest.
A is for attitude,
it has to be real good.
R is for respect,
and we'll give it like we should.
T is for try,
and our best we'll always do.
So now that class is starting,
we're listening to YOU!"

What are we doing?*^

My curriculum is a result of backwards design, meaning I begin with an instructional goal and then work backwards to develop a schema of assessments and experiences aimed at helping students reach that goal. My lessons are both developmentally appropriate and standards based. Students are engaged not only through multiple learning styles and differentiated instruction but through my humanistic approach. Students utilize a range of content and media in order to grow as self-reliant individuals and problem-solvers.

Fifth and Fourth Grade:

Big Question: How do artists represent reality?

Project 1: Symbols - Create a symbol for you
Project 2: Photomontage Future - What you want to be when you grow up
Project 3: Emotion Commotion - Emotion, line and color

Project 4: 3-D - Shapes and objects
Project 5: Perspective - Draw your favorite room.
Project 6: Sequence/Cause and Effect - Create a comic
Project 7: Time - Animation
Project 8: Self-Portrait

Third and Second Grade:

Big Question: How do artists see the world differently?

Project 1: Seeing details - Be a detail detector
Project 2: Seeing temperature - Warm and Cool colors
Project 3: Seeing feeling - Monochromatic Mood
Project 4: Seeing architecture - Animal houses
Project 5: Seeing through walls - Interior peek-a-boo book
Project 6: Seeing our homes - Community map postcard
Project 7: Seeing abstraction - Printmaking with animals
Project 8: Seeing movement - Action Collage

First Grade and Kindergarten:

Big Question: Where do artists get their ideas?

Project 1: Imagination - Line Drawings
Project 2: Nature - Primarily Colorful Flowers
Project 3: Outfits/Costumes - Pipe-cleaner Clothing
Project 4: Memories - Geometric Shape Collage
Project 5: Fears and Fantasies - Organic Shape Monsters and Texture
Project 6: Nature - Textured Animal Masks
Project 7: Feelings - I feel cold/hot when...
Project 8: Imagination - Symmetrical Prints
Project 9: Imagination - Puppets and Form
Project 10: Books - Illustration
Project 11: Observation - Self-portrait

*Projects listed above, along with their order, are subject to change without notification.
^Several lead-up and follow-up assignments, as well as discussions and critiques will occur throughout the year.


Students will be assessed in a variety of ways including:

  • Rubrics
  • Peer Assessments
  • Discussions
  • Reflections
  • Portfolios
  • Oral Presentations
  • Tests & Quizzes
  • Participation
  • Conduct


Wish List

The following items may be dropped off any time throughout the school year. Thank you for help!

                • Washable markers
                • Pencils
                • Erasers
                • String
                • Yarn (scraps and balls)
                • Cloth scraps
                • Glue
                • Empty Coffee cans
                • Magazines
                • Q-tips
                • Cleaning supplies
                • Paper Towels
                • Kleenex
                • Glitter
                • Duct tape
                • Small knick knacks and light (preferably flat) junk


To volunteer in the Art Room please e-mail Mr. O'Donnell at:
As always any time you can spare volunteering is greatly appreciated!



Help get a Kiln! A kiln is a special oven for the firing of clay and clay glazes. Clay is an essential part of a well-rounded visual art curriculum. A kiln also requires a ventilation fan and hood for health reasons. Help us purchase the equipment by participating in the following fundraisers and encouraging others to do the same:

1st Annual Your Town Elementary Art Show
Date: ?
Location: ?

Reception: ?



Arts Day

Every year we celebrate the arts by bringing visual art, music, and dance together for an entire day of fun and expression. In honor of visual art, students are invited to experience a wide range of art activities such as a graffiti wall, puppet place, clay cave and scribble station. Arts Day depends on parent volunteers and we always need help. You do not need to know anything about art or music. If you or someone you know can help, please e-mail Mr. O'Donnell and thank you for your support!


Drawing Club

Drawing Club meets once a week to develop artistic skill, teamwork and friendship. Only 4th and 5th graders can join. Drawing Club will meet every Thursday beginning in October. If you would like to become a member please download the application/permission slip below.

Download a Drawing Club Application (PDF)



Student artwork is displayed at our annual Art Show, throughout the year outside the art room and other locations around school. Please stop by to see the great work!

Online Gallery

Examples of work by current and previous students


Web Quest

A Web Quest is a self-guided, interactive internet learning experience.




Mr. O'Donnell is an artist and art educator. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Florida with a Bachelor's in Art Education and minor in Art History in 2004. He worked both during and after his graduation at the Center for Instructional Technology and Training at UF as a graphic and web designer. During and after his college career Mr. O'Donnell also served as Student Chapter President of the National Art Education Association and on the NAEA web committee. His teaching career began as a student teacher at Littlewood Elementary in Gainesville, FL under the esteemed Tish Kilpatrick. He remained in Gainesville and took his first job teaching both art and yearbook at Howard Bishop Middle School for two years. He then moved to Atlanta and established the visual art program at Stone Mountain Elementary. Mr. O'Donnell loves working with young people. When not at school he can usually be found with his girlfriend and their two cats making art in his spare time.

Teaching Philosophy (pdf)



For Parents:

Americans for the Arts
"Three Rs are Essential, but Don't Forget the A - the Arts"
Youth Art Month

For Students:

Art Junction
Incredible Art Department
Understanding the Elements and Principles of Art
Understanding Lines

Fun with Portraits
Art Games
Be an Art Detective
Make a Snowflake
Interactive site for all grades
"I am an artist"
Learning to Look at Art
How to Develop Ideas for Artwork
smART kids


General Art/Artist Search
Listing of Art Websites
Art Museum Websites


National Art Standards
Georgia QCC Standards


To volunteer or for more information:

Your Town Elementary School

Your Town Elementary Office: 555.555.5555


"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." - Pablo Picasso


Designed and maintained by Mr. O'Donnell©2009