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 your hands.

  • 4.

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

  • 5.

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


  • Children research information about peacock anatomy, habitats, and characteristics.
  • Students use the information they collect to fingerpaint a multicolored display of peacock plumage.


  • Compare the relative sizes of peacocks (with and without their plumage showing) to other, more familiar birds.
  • Fingerpaint a life-size peacock with all of your classmates.
  • Find out why the peacock is India's national bird. Locate stories in which peacocks are essential to the plot and illustrations.
  • Assessment: Observe whether children follow directions to make a reasonable replica of peacock plumage.