John Lennon, 1971

Chart the parallel construction of the verses of this song. Put each line in its own section of the Finding Patterns grid.

What do you notice? Each line similar to the same line in other verses.

What is the result of there being "no heaven" in verse 1? Living for today. What is the result of "no countries"? Living in peace. What is the result of "no possessions"? Sharing the world.

What would it take to eliminate countries? What would it take to eliminate possessions? How practical are Lennon's suggestions? Was he trying to be practical or did he have another goal in mind?

Why is "imagine" such an important word in this song? Why is "imagine" an important step in making changes? You can't do what you can't imagine; imagining is the first step of doing anything differently.

Are dreamers important, even if their dreams seem impossible? Why or why not? What function do dreamers have in our society?

Would you call yourself a dreamer or a realist? Why? What are your dreams for the world? What would you tell people to "imagine" in order for your dream to be fulfilled?

"Imagine" performed by John Lennon. Available on Spotify and YouTube.


For more information on John Lennon, vist his official website.

Rights have not been secured to reprint the words for this song. Please consult this online source:

John Lennon (1940–80) was born in Liverpool, England. He began playing the guitar as a teenager, and with Paul McCartney formed his first group, the Quarry Men, which would eventually become the Beatles. The band dissolved in 1970, but Lennon continued to compose and record as a solo artist as well as with his wife Yoko Ono and an ad hoc group known as the Plastic Ono Band.

This song is the title cut from Lennon's second post-Beatle album entitled Imagine. The idealistic lyrics are representative of Lennon's left-wing activism and mystical passivity. Lennon was murdered in 1980 by a mentally ill fan.

Memorial to John Lennon in Central Park
Memorial to John Lennon in Central Park, New York City.

Tell why you agree or disagree with John Lennon's conclusions. Would having no countries result in peace? Without possessions would we share the world? Explain what you think would happen if you disagree. If you agree, explain the process of getting from the first line "Imagine…" to the last line, the result.

Write a fiction story of a time in the future when one or more of these imaginings becomes real.




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