This is a project I teach when our Grade 4's are learning about India during one of their curricular Social Studies unit. Grade 4 is one of my favourite grades to teach (in Alberta, Canada) because it's Social Studies curriculum teaches a number of countries around the world, so I can connect art projects very easily.
This watercolour project was inspired by a henna tattoo of a peacock I saw one day.
In 1963, the peacock was declared the National Bird of India because of its rich religious and legendary involvement in Indian traditions. It is a symbol of grace, joy, beauty and love. The significance of peacock is attached to cultures of India, Far East, Ancient Persia, Greek and Christian. In Hinduism, the image of the god of thunder, rains and war, Indra, was depicted in the form of a peacock. (source)
So I demonstrated how to draw this elegant, stylized peacock. Then students created a decorative border. They outlined everything in Sharpie then painted these using watercolours. Once dry, I added some glitter to the borders for an extra decorative touch.
In this unit, we also made mehdi (henna) hands!