Cover Image
close this bookCreative Training - A User's Guide (IIRR, 1998, 226 pages)
close this folderDrawing and chalk talk
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentChalk talk
View the documentComic love


The chalk and blackboard are the most common tools to create visual aids for trainings. They are also the cheapest and most versatile. Like the AH-HAH method, chalk talk makes use of drawings to simplify complex terms and show the connection between these terms. It enables people to see, in a graphic form, their situation. However, unlike the AH-HAH method, the connections between the drawings progress along with the discussion.


AH-HAH is a training technique wherein participants draw or write in 1-3 words the first thing/idea that comes into their mind when asked about a certain concept or word. The drawings/words are pasted on the board to see the interrelations of ideas. Because it is done in a swift manner, the activity provokes discovery and realization, thus, the word AH-HAH!


· To impart skills in basic drawing.
· To lighten the discussion of a topic by helping participants express and visualize it.


· chalk or whiteboard marker/pentel pens
· blackboard/whiteboard/craft paper

Basic drawing

Drawings as visual aids have been used since ancient times. Drawings are sometimes more effective than written words because people tend to understand and remember concepts or things when they actually see them. Thus, for a facilitator to be more effective, s/he can use drawing skills. These drawing skills are only rudimentary and can easily be learned by everyone regardless of artistic skill. All that is needed is that the drawings - although simple - easily identify with real life and the topic being discussed.

Suggested approach

1. Ask volunteers to draw basic shapes and figures on the board.

2. Illustrate to them how one can form a complex figure by joining these shapes. For instance, drawing a triangle below a circle can form a person's half body.


Basic figures

3. Show how these figures can be "rounded-off" to look more human body feet man woman


4. Introduce the use of accidentals. Accidentals are shapes that you add to a figure to change the figure's character. Demonstrate how simple figures, even stick figures, can suggest different actions through minimal changes in any of the limbs, head, etc. For instance, adding a tie and a suitcase to the stick figure changes the character to a businessperson.


A number of simple figures drawn on the board

Chalk talk


I. To lighten the discussion of a topic.
2 To systematize the discussion of a topic.
3. To stress the important points in the discussion.


Suggested approach

Use chalk talk to discuss a topic. In this case, explain the concept of environmental conflict with the use of chalk talk.

I. Start by drawing the environment.

2.. Since environmental conflict can stem from debates on the ownership and stewardship of the environment, draw a hand holding the environment to stress this point.

3. Identify the stakeholders or actors in the environmental conflict by drawing representations of these around the environment.

4. Environmental conflict arises when the interests of the stakeholders or actors are not in harmony with each other. Draw each actor's interest.

5. End the discussion by synthesizing the points made in the chalk talk.




· Avoid discussing while writing on the board. Doing this means that your back is facing the participants. However, spells of silence while writing on the board may lead to boredom. While writing something on the board, ask the participants to copy other things you have written earlier.

· Avoid writing lengthily during the session. Long topics should be transferred to the board or a piece of craft paper before the session starts. Cover these while not yet in use, so as not to distract the participants.


The participants should have been able to demonstrate their views on a certain issue with the use of chalk talk.


· Helps organize the discussion by giving the group a common task: to create a picture of their present situation

· Helps record the discussion. The pictures and symbols represent all the important points made by the participants during the discussion.

· Makes use of language and symbols familiar to the participants.

· Helps the participants clarify and understand their own experience. Through their drawings, the participants describe their world and gain a sense of control of their lives.

· Helps the participants piece together the fragments they already know into an integrated picture of their situation.


For the participants:

· Keeps them abreast of the discussion
· Helps them concentrate on the discussion
· Gives them better grasp of the topic
· Serves as a guide for note making.

For the facilitator, chalk talk:

· Helps in catching and maintaining the interest of the participants
· Helps focus the attention of the participants to the discussion
· Helps in stressing important points
· Assists in explaining the topic to the participants
· Aids in maintaining the systematic/orderly flow of the discussion.


Outcome of the activity may not be kept for future reference if chalk and blackboard were used. However, manila or craft paper may be used as alternative materials if you plan to use the participants' chalk talk product in the future.


· Plan and practice before teaching chalk-talk.

· First, write the outline of the topic to serve as a discussion guide.

· Writings/drawings on the board should be neat and large enough for easy reading. To highlight important points, one can use bold letters, underline them or use a different color.

· Remove all obstructions that may block the view of the participants. Every participant should be able to see what is written on the board without difficulty.

· Give enough time for the participants to copy what is written on the board.

· Ask participants if they have finished copying what is on the board before erasing it. This signals the end of a session and the start of a new one.


The chalk-talk module was introduced in the Basic Popular Education Training for grassroots educators in Cavite, Philippines. The module on visual arts was given during the latter port of the training. At first, the participants were hesitant to draw on the board. However, after learning that simple shapes could form a complex figure and that practising their newly acquired skill was easy, all of them participated in drawing their community situation. Self expression though pictures gives advice on other ways of developing participants' artistic expression.


Comic love




Comic art - How do we do it?




* Stop making sense... human beings will start trying to find meaning in even, the most illogical sequences, with sometimes surprising insight.

Run for your life!!!




· Remove the text and get people to decide what the picture tells them.
· Draw your own comic strip to illustrate your arguments.
· Get participants draw their own comics strip to express ideas during training.

How do words & pictures work together?




Be on the lookout

For humorous comic strips that are related to your training topic/clip them from daily newspaper, etc.

Enlarge the strips and place them onto "VISUAL SPICER" (see activity sheets) or OHP transparencies.

When doing your presentations, get your participants comments on how the strip is related to your point.



What else? The sky is the limit...

These are just few ideas to stimulate your creative understanding of comics you will now hopefully read comics in a different way,

Could you help communities develop comics depicting their own story (see the activity sheet on CASE STUDIES)? These will help communities become aware of their current situation awareness leads to under-stamping, and understanding leads to action.

Reference: adapted from Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, 1993, Kitchen Sink Press, Northampton, UK