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Elissa Donovan

Middle School Art Teacher
B.A. Art Education, University of Cincinnati
M.A. Art Education, Miami University

Teaching Philosophy

Important skills I want to teach my students

Art is about communicating through a visual language. One of the most important skills students can learn in creating art is the ability to “see.” Learning visual perception in art can begin with learning how to draw objects from observation. In teaching students to break complicated images into simple shapes, to compare these shapes in terms of size and space, and to look for how they relate to one another; students begin to see more than just the objects. They gain a better understanding of placement and proportion in rendering their work.

My favorite projects

My favorite project of the year is our large-scale sculpture. In partnership with the Cincinnati Zoo, students from the 6th, 7th and 8th grades work collaboratively on a huge sculpture that we then donate to the Zoo for their annual fundraiser, to be auctioned off to benefit the animals. Working together, students have created beautiful 12′ golden elephants or enormous lion heads that, from start to finish, take about 2 weeks to complete. The experience of working together on a common goal to benefit our community is very unifying for the students. We are transformed into one giant art machine.

What I like best about teaching at Seven Hills

What I love best about teaching at Seven Hills is the flexibility to create curriculum based on current interests and topics, or the latest materials and technologies that keep projects fresh, exciting, and relevant to my students.