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There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.



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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.






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Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Peace Poems and Picasso Doves: Literature, Art, Technology, and Poetry

Students apply think-aloud strategies to reading and to composition of artwork and poetry. They research symbols of peace as they prewrite, compose, and publish their poetry.


Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

The Peace Journey: Using Process Drama in the Classroom

What does peace mean to you? In this lesson, students attempt to answer this question as they write and perform a short skit that reflects their ideas of peace.


Grades   9 – 12  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Blogtopia: Blogging about Your Own Utopia

Students work together to create their own utopias, using blogs as the primary source of publication.


Grades   5 – 10  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Songs of Our Lives: Using Lyrics to Write Stories

Students learn about the life and music of John Lennon, write a short story from their lives integrating lyrics from some of their favorite songs, and create a class book of stories.


Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Exploring Author's Voice Using Jane Addams Award-Winning Books

History has many faces in this lesson in which students read Jane Addams Award-winning books to learn about peace, social justice, world community, and equality.