Each year during Grandparent's Day, a book fair is strategically set up in the library. You would not believe the cash flow in a single day. As a teacher, I was able to make a wish list. Somehow I managed to receive every book on my list, which was so wonderful! A fourth grade student bought the book below for me. It was written by a second grade class from Wisconsin. They also did all of the illustrations! This was perfect to share with my second graders, and they were completely impressed!
After reading the book, I gave them a 9x12" piece of turquoise construction paper and a pencil. I walked through a few different pieces of a peacock to get us started. The basics features were the bowling pin-shaped body, round feathers behind, eyes, beak, hair, and long feathers.
After they sketched in these key features, they used blue tempera to fill in the body and "eyes" of the long feathers. Next, they used a dark green and light green oil pastel for the round feathers behind the bird. I showed them how to blend by overlapping colors that are close to each other on the color wheel.
Lastly, they added more oil pastels to finish out the feathers and facial features. Each of my five classes made peacocks that were a little bit different. Each day I tend to consolidate instructions and either give more or less freedom in some areas. The first day I was pretty loosey-goosey on the specifics of the feathers, but I gave them a lot more direction by the fifth day after seeing what did and didn't work so well.
This was a quick, one-day project, which included reading the book. As always, you can control how long this project takes by how big of paper you give them and how detailed you want their feathers to be. I also thought about using metallic markers at the end to add into the eye feathers. I'm sure there are hundreds of great peacock projects out there- it's just such a beautiful animal!