2nd Grade: Project Peacock

ImageI’ve noticed something really funny that occasionally happens when children feel exceptionally proud of their artwork. Sometimes children make something and really want to show it off to their classmates, but want to come across as cool and collected. So here’s what they do:

First, these students will quickly scan the room to see if other people are watching. If so, they will sneakily lift up the corners of their artwork and flip it around so the front is facing the class. Students will innocently pretend to brush some dust off of the back of the paper and slowly look up to see who is watching. They will lock eyes with that person and give them a half-smiled nod:

I caught you admiring my picture, and yes, it is quite excellent.ImageI love teaching this Peacock lesson to my 2nd graders because this sneaky show-off method never fails to occur.  The kids always seem to have fun making the peacocks and are always excited about what they look like in the end! 

I started off the lesson by going through the basic steps on how to draw a peacock. Image

I follow the basic steps shown above but I ask kids to scatter the ovals in the feathers out a lot more. After the sketches were done, students outlined their peacocks with white chalk and blended various shades of blue and green pastels to color in their bodies and faces. ImageAs part of the ruffly tail, 2nd graders added a lime green color around the body and began drawing ovals on their feather lines. I asked them to try to squeeze 3-5 ovals on each line. The more detail, the more interesting!ImageImage

I pulled some images of close-up peacock feathers and we made a list on the board of all the colors we saw: rust (brown), red, green, light blue, and dark blue. ImageStudents collected their oil pastels and began filling in each of their ovals. Blue circles in the middle of each oval with the rust color surrounding them. This was definitely the tedious part of this lesson. I encouraged the 2nd graders to be patient and take their time. As you can see, their patience paid off!ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageOnce all of the feathers were colored in, students were given gold paint to incorprate into their pictures. I really wanted the peacocks to look really different form one another, so I encouraged students to add gold to their pictures in different ways. I demonstrated a couple examples and let them dive into the next part of the project.

I was too busy running around to capture any action shots of the students painting, but here are some finished pieces. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageI squeezed as many as I could onto the bulletin board in the cafeteria. Don’t they look like a million bucks?ImageImage

-Mrs. Heinlein

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