Talking Film I

Welcome to the Labragirl Film Project’s weekly film literacy discussion. Every Monday morning Labragirl provides a resource, activity, or methodological discussion to help incorporate film analysis into your classroom.

Last week we turned to TV images with our discussion about Downton Abbey.

This week we are going to provide a brief introduction to the language of film. Once students start to understand how to describe what they are seeing it will become easier for them to analyze moving images.

Do you use film in your classroom?

How do you introduce your students to film production?

Please comment below or discuss with us on 


Talking Film I


Classroom Discussion/Activity Synopsis: 

This week’s Moving Images-Moving Forward conversation introduces students to three different types of film shots. We also encourage you to discuss the different image types with your students.

Grade Level: Any level

Educational Goals:

  • Introduce students to film analysis & reading
  • Incorporate film analysis into classroom discussions
  • Provide students with an understanding of different film shots
  • Enable students to participate in discussions about film analysis & film production
  • Encourage students to navigate critical thinking discussions about moving images
Exercise Philosophy:

The goals behind this exercise are to:

  • equip students with the necessary language to engage in film analysis discussions
  • introduce students to film production

Providing students with film production knowledge will help them participate in film reading and film analysis discussions.

Exercise Activity & Process:

1) Review images of Medium, Close Up, and Extreme Close Up shots. (See examples below.)

Mid or Medium Shot (MS)

Medium Shot {Click on image for source info.}

Medium Shot {Click on image for source info.}

Close Up Shot (CU)

Close Up Shot {Click on image for source info.}

Close Up Shot {Click on image for source info.}

Extreme Close Up (ECU or XCU)

Extreme Close Up Shot {Click on Image for Source Info.}

Extreme Close Up Shot {Click on Image for Source Info.}

2) Engage in a discussion about these three different film shots. Some possible questions include:

  • What are some similarities between these three types of shots? Differences?
  • Why would you choose one over another? 
  • If you wanted to convey happiness, anger, excitement, or any other emotion of your choice which shot would you choose? Why?
  • If one of the Extreme Close Up shots above become a Medium Shot how would the story change?

3) Ask students to find an image of a Medium Shot, Close Up and Extreme Close Up. Discuss.

Did you use any of these discussions or activities in your classroom? How did it go?

We’d love to hear from you.

Please comment below or discuss with us on .

*Disclaimer: All movie & television clips are suggestions for class use, only. All instructors should screen clips to determine if they are appropriate to use in their classrooms. 


UP NEXT 4/8: Making Images I

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Previous Blog Entries

Downton Abbey in Your Class #2 – Today in the Past

Downton Abbey in Your Class #1 – Roll Sound!

Reading Film

Fictional Projections of History

Think Globally Using Film

Our Relationship with Movies

Moving Past Historical Accuracy

Images Telling Stories

Film Shaping History

Think Film Images


©2013 Labragirl Film Project. All rights reserved.


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