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close this book Tools for teaching - A visual aids workshop, and instruction manual for health educators
close this folder Session 1. Introduction to the visual aids workshop
close this folder Handout 1.8.1 Making & using visual aids (Supplementary learning materials)
View the document Introduction
View the document 1. Chalkboard
View the document 2. Charts
View the document 3. Diagrams
View the document 4. Flip charts
View the document 5. Flannelboard
View the document 6. Posters
View the document 7. Comic books
View the document 8. Pamphlets
View the document 9. Flyers
View the document 10. Flexiflans
View the document 11. Games
View the document 12. Puppets
View the document 13. Masks
View the document 14. Slide presentations

10. Flexiflans

Flexiflans are cutout figures approximately 12 cm. - 16 cm. (5" 6"). They have movable joints and are able to take on a variety of attitudes and postures. The figures are backed with sandpaper for use with a flannelboard.


To make flexiflans:

1) Plan on making a wide variety of figures and objects. You will need many types of people: young and old, boys and girls, healthy and sick. Make cutout figures of animals, tools, vehicles, houses, schools, health units, and other buildings, as well as landscape features like trees, crops, rivers, etc.

2) Sketch the individual parts of each figure on lightweight cardboard, then cut them out. Color the parts with marking pens or paint before assembling. Details can be added with a fine tip marking pen after the flexiflans are put together.

3) Fasten joints with eyelets (check with a local dressmaker or a home economics teacher). Alternatively, sew them together so that the figures are flexible yet stiff enough to hold a position.

4) Glue one or two squares of sandpaper or other coarse material on the back of each figure.


SUGGESTION: Enlist the aid of a high school art teacher. Making the flexiflans could be a fun and useful project for young people.


To use flexiflans:

This activity allows people to share their views instead of focusing on the views of the health worker. A wide variety of flexiflan figures can provide an audience with a visual means to express their ideas and illustrate discussions of their needs, problems, and aspirations.

1) Introduce flexiflans as a way to depict community life. Show the audience how the figures can be flexed to take on different positions and to represent action.

2) Invite a few volunteers to come forward and depict a situation in their community by placing selected flexiflans on the flannelboard. Suggest that they focus on a problem or a community need.

Sample FLEXIFLAN A (actual size)


Sample FLEXIFLAN B (actual size)


3) The participants placing the flexiflans can explain the situation they have depicted. Others can be asked for their observations regarding the situation.

4) When a community problem has been depicted with the flexiflans, the participants can rearrange the figures to illustrate their aspirations for the community. Alternative methods for realizing these aspirations can then be discussed.

Flexiflans may also be used to illustrate a health story in order to stimulate discussion about good health practices and to explore different alternatives for solving a problem.

1) The facilitator presents a common health problem in the form of a dramatic story. The story should be realistic. Problems are rarely simple and clear-cut. They are generally a result of a number of physical, social, political, and economic factors. All the extenuating circumstances need to be considered and woven into the story.

2) The story should be illustrated using the flexiflan figures. The characters should be given names and the action set in a barangay similar to the one in which community members live.

3) Once the problem situation has been described, invite participants to complete the story. Encourage them to explore alternative solutions.

4) Ask participants if they have encountered similar problems in their own community. How was the problem solved? If the situation remains unresolved, what are some possible courses of action?