I already had a few other books about nests and eggs: Whose's Nest?, Whose's Egg?, The Egg Is Quiet, and Guess What Is Growing Inside the Egg. We read these books throughout the week during our science time.
After reading Whose's Nest?, students were each given Crayola Air Dry Clay to create their nests. I didn't give them a whole of instruction other than the nest needed to hold an egg and keep it safe. I wanted this to be their project! Each child was given a ball of clay. Warning, this clay in the "terra" color turned everyone's hands orange. It all came off our skin by the next day. Each child created his/her nest on a piece of wax paper or aluminum foil with his/her name on it. When the nests dried, they did not stick to either type of paper. The newly formed nests spent a few days drying on a table. Meanwhile, we continued to read about eggs.
I turned to the two-page spread in The Egg Is Quiet of various eggs for students to choose the egg they wanted to make.
Each child chose 1 egg to create. We used eggs from WalMart that I purchased in the Easter clearance. They came in an open "carton" and were meant for dying, but they were perfect for this. All of the eggs ended up being the same size and shape, but there was not worries about students breaking their egg if it was dropped as there may be with clay. We mixed paint to create colors similar to those in the book. I rolled small pieces of cardstock and taped them for the eggs to dry on.
Once dry, the eggs were placed in their nests and students made a little label stating the type of bird that would lay that egg and the child's name. I had one child who insisted on painting the "king salmon" egg. I explained that this was a fish egg and he said that was ok, that was what he wanted to do. Once we transferred it to the nest, he thought maybe he should have made a bird egg instead but decided " at least it will be safe in the nest I made."
My kiddos have received a lot of positive feedback from staff members and other students walking by their nests and eggs in the hallway. This is a project I'd definitely do again next year, but maybe try it with allowing students to try to create their own egg to make them different sizes like real eggs would be.