John Keats Lesson Plan

Instructor: Jason Lineberger

Jason has 20 years of education experience including 14 years of teaching college literature.

If you want to teach your students about one of the British Romantics, John Keats, use this lesson plan to help them understand his life and his poetry. Students will watch a video and engage in a short project involving research and art.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain Keats' early life and career before becoming a poet.
  • identify his most famous poems.
  • understand how he, and most of his family, died.


45-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.


Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.


  • Images of Neoclassical gardens and Romantic gardens
  • Large sheets of chart or butcher paper
  • Markers of various colors
  • Computers or reference materials

Instructions: Introducing Romanticism

  • As students enter the room, have some classical music from the Romantic period playing. For example, you could use Hector Berlioz' Symphonie fantastique, which is inspired by literature.
  • Begin class by showing images of Neoclassical gardens. These could be paintings from the period or photos of modern versions. Ask the class to describe what they see. Ask them to think about what the creators of these gardens value. Your students will probably get around to the idea that these gardens are orderly, symmetrical, and created with a set of rules in mind. Their creators probably value reason.
  • Now, show images of gardens from the Romantic period. Have students contrast these images with the previous ones. Ask what the creators of these gardens might have valued. Hopefully, your students will see these gardens as being more wild, free, and emotional. Point out that these gardens are still contrived, but they're built so as to seem wild and to offer sudden surprising vistas meant to astonish and delight people walking in them.
  • You can use these observations as a launching point for a mini lesson on the qualities of British Romanticism.

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