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October 09

In 1940, musician and peace activist John Lennon was born.

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In 1940, musician and peace activist John Lennon was born.

Grades 9 – 12
Calendar Activity Type Historical Figure & Event





John Lennon, a member of the Beatles, was born on October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, England. With the Beatles and as a solo artist, Lennon was hugely influential musically, culturally, and politically throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Lennon wrote and recorded many songs over the course of his career, including the antiwar song "Give Peace a Chance." He was murdered by a crazed fan on December 8, 1980, in New York City.





John Lennon is well known for many songs; however, his most famous song is probably "Imagine," in which he asks his listeners to consider a world without war and violence. After listening to the song or reading the lyrics, ask students to discuss the following questions, depending upon their grade and skill level:

  • The speaker refers to himself as a "dreamer." What other words would you use to describe the speaker?

  • Is the world that the speaker imagines possible? What prevents peace from happening? What can be done to try to make it happen? How has September 11 changed your feelings about world peace?

  • Write a stanza of your own for the song that begins with the phrase "Imagine..." Draw a picture below your stanza to illustrate the world you have imagined.




  • John Lennon: The Official Site

    This media-rich site offers a history and biography of Lennon, as well as videos, drawings, and a discography. Photographs and videos of Lennon are found throughout the site.


  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum: Inductees: John Lennon

    This museum site includes a biography and timeline of Lennon, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.


  • Peace Corps Challenge Online Game

    Give students an opportunity to learn about the Peace Corps and how they can make a difference even as kids. Students can also explore and learn about different places around the world on this site.



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Grades   K – 5  |  Podcast Episode

Think Peace

Use these books as a springboard to discuss how children and adults alike can use peaceful, nonviolent methods to affect change in society.


Grades   6 – 12  |  Podcast Episode

Musical Books for Teens

In this episode, you'll hear about fiction and nonfiction books that explore the importance of music in the lives of young people.


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