With the Colorado Rockies in view from their school, Jeananne Wright's 4th graders have created a quilt to honor the life of the late musician John Denver and his appreciation for those mountains.
Ms. Wright, a 57-year-old fan of Mr. Denver's, thought of the idea soon after the folk singer was killed in October, when the plane he was flying crashed in Monterey Bay in California.
Previously, Ms. Wright's 4th grade classes at the 650-student Zerger Elementary School in Westminster, Colo., made quilts about Colorado history, the Oregon Trail, and endangered animals.
"At first I thought maybe the children wouldn't know who [John Denver] is or what he stood for," she says.
So she had the students "practice their interviewing skills" by asking their parents about him. Students also used the Internet to research his charitable interests, such as the environment and hunger.
The students then reported back to the class on what they had learned.
Ms. Wright played his songs in class, and the students illustrated them on muslin quilt squares.
The quilt pieces were combined to make a tribute to a singer and songwriter who expressed his love for the Colorado mountains, animals, and nature in his music.
The top of the quilt is covered with layers of mountains and a blue sky with an eagle soaring.
One quilt square has an airplane flying over mountains with musical notes coming out of it, representing his song, "Fly Away." Ms. Wright used muddy-colored cloth to reference the song "Take Me Home, Country Road."
Ms. Wright pieced together the quilt and hand-stitched it. "It was a labor of love for me," she says.
And all of the hard work has not gone unnoticed: The Colorado History Museum in Denver has asked permission to temporarily display the quilt.
--MARY ANN ZEHR