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Walnut valley Unified School District

ALLmeansALL! Walnut Valley USD is proud to be a National Schools to Watch District with numerous National Blue Ribbon, California Gold Ribbon, and California Distinguished School awards. Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!  

Art in Action

April 3, 2019

By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources


DIAMOND BAR, CA--After diligently hitting the books all week, Maple Hill Elementary students welcomed the chance to express some creativity on Friday.


Fifth graders were given packets of clay and given the assignment of designing realistic food sculptures at their desks.


The classroom began humming with excitement as the students squished and patted the gray mud between their fingers forming tacos, French fries, eggs and bacon, macaroons, pies with lattice crusts, and sushi.


“I like this because there are no wrong answers when you’re being creative!” said Wesley Manning using a wooden dowel to roll arms for a gummy bear.


“I just improvised!” said Chloe Kim while making gooey marshmallow, chocolate, and graham cracker s’mores.


“It’s exciting that we’re getting to teach the ‘A’ in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) this year,” said teacher Vanessa Mabini.


“And the kids are so artistic!”


“I’m making meat!” exclaimed Marcelo Mou whose desktop resembled a market case with little mounds of shrimp, fish, and crab.


Classmate Oliver Zhong used a paper clip to scrape dashes onto tiny dumplings displayed next to a pair of chop sticks and bowl of Vietnamese pho soup.


“I’m making baby shrimp and Yakisoba Japanese noodles,” said Kylie Anggala.


The supplies, lesson plans and video tutorials are offered through the Arts in Action program adopted by the school this year.


The visual arts curriculum gives students a strong foundation in drawing, painting, and sculpture techniques.


During the monthly 90-minute lessons, Mabini’s students have sampled different mediums from designing paper quilt squares and apples with oil pastels, realistic portraits with charcoal, still life with tempera paint, and pop art.


The artwork is proudly displayed around the classroom.


Zarek Wanker was putting the finishing touches on a neat little plate of escargot.


“I got the idea because my sister really wants to go to France and try all these foods!” he shared.


“If only we could eat it!” said Adam Zhao who crafted a life-size hot dog, bowl of Chinese dessert with dates, and Boba drink.


“It just needs some mustard!”



Maple Hill Elementary fifth graders learn visual art techniques during Arts in Action ceramics lesson.