Visual Literacy and Close Looking

Image credit: John Schnobrich

This teaching resource has been submitted by Anna Boutin-Cooper at Franklin & Marshall College.



Learning Level


Short Overview

This lesson plan was written for a first year seminar course, CNX151: When Black Lives Matter, at Franklin & Marshall College — a small, liberal arts institution in south central Pennsylvania. This lesson was designed for a one time, 80 minute class session with some assigned reading to be completed prior to class, from The Methodologies of Art by Laurie Schneider Adams. Ideally, this lesson was designed for a maximum of twenty students, and asks for a high degree of classroom participation.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of class, students will:

– understand how to construct searches for images using Artstor and relevant keywords.

– be able to “read” an image, through the process of close looking.

Resources Required

Instructor laptop
Lesson plan & PPT
Whiteboard nameplates (16)
Whiteboard markers (16)
Worksheet from ​Visual Literacy for Libraries​ (17)


Download the Lesson Plan (PDF)

Useful Links

For images to accompany this activity you may wish to search open source photo libraries such as Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay, and Death to the Stock Photo.