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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

3. Diagrams

A diagram is a drawing of the parts of something, or how something works. One might diagram the layout of a backyard garden...

Backyard garden


Or the parts of a pump...



or the progression cycle of excrete-borne diseases.



Diagrams do not always have to be drawn on paper or poster board.

They could be drawn on clear plastic or acetate for use as overlays...



or on a T-shirt for greater realism.

Diagram on T-shirt


To make a diagram:

1) Regardless of subject matter or means of presentation, a diagram should be clear, accurate, and easily understood.

• include all essential information

• omit all unnecessary details

2) Keep words to a minimum. If you need to label the parts (as in the diagram of the pump), make sure that it is absolutely clear to what they refer.

• use the language of the target audience

• print legibly


To use a diagram:

Diagrams are a good visual support for technical information. They generally need to be explained, either verbally (in discussions about component parts, function, relationships of one part to another, etc.) or in print (in a "how-to" pamphlet, for example).

Whenever possible, the health educator should ask a member of the audience who may be familiar with the subject under discussion to explain the diagram to the rest of the group. Participants should be encouraged to ask questions and express opinions.

Community members can also be invited to draw their own diagrams on the chalkboard or a piece of brown paper.