Video documentaries are not just records of reality; each shot frames reality in a deliberate, particular way. The first thing to notice about a shot, then, is what is in the foreground, in the background, or not there at all - but might have been.
Close-ups and extreme close-ups are almost all foreground.
Panorama and wide shots are mostly background.
Medium or two-shots are used to focus on the relationship between the foreground and the background or among things in the foreground.
Distribute the Framing Activity handout to students. Ask them to describe what they see in the image, what is foreground and what is background. Then, have students make two paper frames by cutting the boxes out of the last two pages of the handout. Ask them to move the frame over parts of the image, noting what information would be conveyed in a medium shot or in a close-up shot. What would be left out? How would that alter the meaning of the image?
Assign directly to your students using the code or link above, without having them log in. Simply tell your students to go to
www.pbsstudents.org and enter the Assignment Code, or click on the Assignment URL to share the assignment as a link.