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Teachers: Literacy: Text

Last Updated: Thursday September 07 2006 14:36 GMT

Biographical account - John Lennon

Literacy
Text level

The Beatles

Overview

The Beatles are still making headline news more than 40 years after their first hit entered the UK charts.

The Fab Four scored endless chart success with songs such as She Loves You, I Want To Hold Your Hand and Can't Buy Me Love.

Band member John Lennon, who died in 1980, was a key figure in music and political history.

Learning aims

  • Develop skills of biographical writing in role by composing an account based on research.

    Introduction

    Click below to read the story:

    BEATLES GUIDE
    John Lennon

    Ask an open question to see if children have any knowledge about John Lennon or The Beatles. Expand any ideas with some key facts and liken his popularity with a popular band around at the time of the lesson.

    Begin the sesion with a visit to the John Lennon remembered website - see link in the blue web links box at the top right of this page.

    Ask children to recall information about Lennon. Discuss how the creators of the website may have found information about the musician - internet, encyclopaedias, newspapers, CDs, friends and family etc.

    Main activity

    QUIZ: BEATLES SONGS
    John Lennon and Yoko Ono
    Use a volunteer as a subject to write a biography on. Include details of when they were born, who their parents are, where they live, school life and hobbies. Model how to use sentence starters and write in the first person.

  • I was born on ...

  • My Mum is called ... and she works as a ...

  • I live in ...

  • My best subjects at school are ...

  • My hobbies include ...

    Ask children to create their own five-point biography using the sentence starters as cues. Once complete, tell the children they will be using research techniques to find information about John Lennon for a ten-point biography. Use the internet or download specific pages to make the search easier.

    Guide the children into finding facts that span Lennon's life and to keep them in chronological order.

    PLEASE NOTE: Some of John Lennon's activities may be unsuitable for your children.

    Extension activities

    Find out facts on fellow Beatle Paul McCartney or Lennon's wife Yoko Ono.

    Look at a Beatles or John Lennon discography and arrange the song titles in alphabetical order.

    Plenary
    JOHN LENNON FACT BOX
    John's first group was called the Quarrymen
    The first song he wrote was called Hello Little Girl
    John's son, Julian, was born in 1963

    Children share their facts about Lennon. Arrange some prepared 'fact' cards or sticky notes to create a simple 1940 to 1980 timeline.

    Listen to Imagine, one of John Lennon's most famous songs, and ask children to interpret the lyrics.

    Teachers' background
    • 1940 - John Lennon born in Liverpool

    • 1957 - He meets Paul McCartney

    • 1962 - Beatles first UK hit with Love Me Do

    • 1967 - Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band is released

    • 1969 - John marries Yoko Ono

    • 1970 - The Beatles stop recording

    • 1971 - John Lennon releases the album Imagine

    • 1980 - John Lennon dies

    • 1994 - Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist

    • 2004 - A collection of recordings with John performing solo with a guitar is released


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