Lamia by Keats Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

John Keats' narrative poem 'Lamia' presents a twisted love story between two mythical creatures. This lesson plan summarizes the poem using a video lesson. An activity highlights the imagery of the poem.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • discuss the role mythology play in 'Lamia' by John Keats
  • summarize 'Lamia' by John Keats
  • analyze the poet's diction and use of imagery in the poem


60 to 90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.


Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.


Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new.


  • The first few lines of the narrative poem 'Lamia' by John Keats
  • Paper copies of the worksheet from the associated video lesson
  • Several excerpts from 'Lamia' by John Keats
  • Oversized drawing paper
  • Colored pencils


  • Begin by reading the opening few lines of 'Lamia' by John Keats aloud to the class. Discuss:
    • What are your impressions of what I just read?
    • What is happening in the poem?
    • What types of language are used in the poem?
  • Play the video lesson Lamia by Keats: Summary & Analysis for the class, pausing it at 1:00. Discuss:
    • What is a canonical text?
    • Did you notice elements of Greek mythology in the opening lines of 'Lamia' by John Keats that were read aloud in class?
  • Play the video lesson again and pause it at 3:08. Discuss:
    • Who was Lamia?
    • What is misogyny?
    • How did Keats' depiction of Lamia resist the misogynistic norms of the time?
    • What images come to mind from the language used by Keats to describe Lamia?
  • Play the video lesson. Pause it at 5:22. Discuss:
    • What does the author achieve by presenting Lamia in an ambiguous way?
    • What words stick out to you in Keats' analysis of Lamia?
    • Is Lamia's love for Lycius genuine?
  • Play the remainder of the video lesson for the class. Discuss:
    • Why does Keats portray the relationship between Lamia and Lycius in an ominous way?
    • Why do you think Keats chose to end the narrative poem the way he did?
    • What message was Keats sending to readers of the poem?
  • Distribute the worksheet to the class.
  • Have students work independently to complete the worksheet using what they learned about the poem 'Lamia' from the video lesson.
  • When everyone has completed the worksheet, review each question and answer with the class as students follow along, checking their papers and making any necessary corrections.

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