Brilliant Peacock Plumage

Brilliant Peacock Plumage lesson plan

Imagine a peacock strutting about with its multicolored plumage. This handprint peacock train is as glorious as it is easy!

  • 1.

    When peacocks display their trains, they are exceptionally big and beautiful. With full plumage, peacocks can be as long as 7 feet (2.1m) from the tips of their beaks to the ends of their trains!

  • 2.

    Find out more about these birds and study pictures of them. Discover how the lamella (pigments in their tiny, furry feather branches) catch the sun and glitter. Find out if peacocks can fly, whether both males and females display plumage, and where their natural habitat is. Then make a replica of this spectacular bird, which is the national bird of India.

  • 3.

    On fingerpaint paper, start with a peacock body. Press one finger in Crayola Fingerpaint. Make several fingerprints very close together near the bottom of the page. Wash hands.

  • 4.

    To make the quills, roll the side of your index finger, or your pinkie and palm, in fingerpaint. Press finger flat on the paper. Make several feathers of one color, spread out around the bird's body. Wash hands. Repeat using other colors to get the effect of a peacock's colorful plumage.

  • 5.

    Add details such as crown feathers, feet, and eyes. Air-dry the peacock painting. Display the paintings in an array, spread out like peacock plumage in the classroom!


  • LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
  • SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.


  • Classroom resources: Colorful Peacocks by Deborah Underwood; Three Hens and a Peacock by Lester L. Laminack; Peacocks by Mandy R. Marx
  • The peacock is India's national bird. Investigate what the peacock represents to that country. Research the state bird of your state or country. Find out why this bird was chosen. Audio-tape your findings and upload your audio file to a classroom computer. Link it to your original sketch of the bird you studied.