Camera Shots - Lesson Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 9 to 12

Author: This lesson is based on a series of activities created by Wayne McNanney in Mediacy, Vol. 20, No. 3, Fall 1998, and from TVOntario's Behind The Scenes, Resource Guide For Television Literacy. 1990. Used with permission.


In this lesson, students examine the visual codes used on television and in movies through an exploration of various camera techniques. Students begin with a discussion about camera-subject distance, and review various film techniques that are used to create visual meaning. Using photos from magazines and newspapers,students select examples for the camera techniques they have discussed and present their findings to class. Optional activities include deconstructing the way "long shots, medium shots, and close-ups" are used in comics, television shows, movies and music videos. When their activities are completed, students will answer short vocabulary quiz.


Students will:

  • identify important visual codes (such as long-shot, close-up, camera angle) that are used on television and in movies and begin to recognize that these codes affect meaning.

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) are available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.

Lesson Kit