Buy Your Class The Chimes Of Freedom Album

Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International

Bob Dylan English Lesson PlanDo you enjoy Bob Dylan’s music? Do you ever use his music in your classroom? As I’m typing this post, I’m eagerly waiting for 75 Bob Dylan covers to download! Bob Dylan covers? That’s right! ESL-Library President Ben Buckwold (a huge Dylan fan) shared the good news this morning. Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International was released today. It features 4 hours of Bob Dylan music covered by over 80 artists, including Adele, Dave Matthews Band, and Silverson Pickups! All proceeds will go to Amnesty International, and many retailers will be donating money and ads to help the cause.  Now this is something to talk about (or at least listen to – why not buy a gift for your classroom?).

If you enjoy using authentic materials with your higher level learners, check out the Huffington Post article: This Album Saves Lives: Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International. If you teach low level learners, preview the article and summarize the main points.

Here a few questions to get your students talking after you read the article together:

  • Who created the album?
  • Why was the album released now?
  • What is Amnesty International?
  • What does Bob Dylan have to do with Amnesty International?
  • Do you like the title of the album? Why was this title chosen? What would be another good name for an album like this?
  • When have musicians doing something similar in the past?
  • What does “to tip your hat” to someone mean?
  • What does “to carry the torch” mean?
  • Which artist would you like to hear cover a Bob Dylan song?
  • Which other artists often sing to promote causes?
  • Do you agree with the journalist that music and lyrics are more inspiring and soothing than books and film?

“The connections between Amnesty International’s mission and Bob Dylan’s music seem, on a moment’s reflection, so obvious and natural that they require no explanation. ”
Sean Wilentz via album notes


Do you use music in the classroom? Which Bob Dylan songs have you used in class? Can you share an activity teachers might be able to do with songs from this album? If you buy the album, be sure to let us know which song is your favourite. We’d love to hear which songs your students like best as well!

Related lessons in the ESL-Library

Famous People: Bob Dylan
Discussion Starters: The Occupy Movement
Mini-Debates: Live 8 Concerts
Discussion Starters: The Death Penalty
Holidays: Black History Month (Coming in February!)
Famous Things: United Nations

While our Something to Talk About suggestions are useful for getting your students involved in a group or pair discussion or debate, the topics, articles, and videos can also be used if you are looking for something for your students to blog/Skype/or write an opinion essay about.

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