Visual Literacy Skills

Guiding Questions

  1. What types of information can we get from visual texts?
  2. What are the three important types of camera shots?
  3. How do these different types of shots affect meaning?
  4. How do these different shots convey different points of view?

Key Teaching Points

  • •  Visual learning is enhanced by focusing on images as a source of information
  • •  There are three important types of camera shots:
  • Close-up
    Medium shot

    Long shot
  • •  These three different types of shots grant the viewer different points of view.
  • •  How a subject is framed affects meaning, (ie details are prominent in close-ups, relationships in medium shots, and the context in long shots.)
  • •  Interpretation of an image may vary depending on what the viewer sees and doesn’t see.

Visual Literacy Terms

Close-up – focus in on details and facial expressions but none or little of the context.

Medium shot – shows the subject in relation to the immediate context; reveals relationships, be them person-to-person, person-to-thing, person-to-a space, etc.

Long shot – shows the subject in relation to the overall context; unveils information about the overall context


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