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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

8. Pamphlets

A pamphlet is a small, unbound booklet made from two or more sheets of paper stapled together into pages. Reading a pamphlet is an individual activity. Because pamphlets are small and inexpensive to reproduce, they are an ideal way to send an educational message into the community. They are particularly useful for teaching people how to do something: how to construct a water sealed toilet, for example, or how to install a pump, or how to cook certain nutritional foods.


To make a pamphlet:

1) Identify the target audience and design the pamphlet accordingly. Consider interests, educational level, and local traditions.

2) Write the copy. Keep your message simple, direct, and to the point. Use language and vocabulary that the reader will understand.

3) Never assume that the reader has any prior knowledge about the subject. Explain every step clearly.

4) Conceptualize the visuals that will accompany the written message.

• A bold or provocative cover design will attract attention.

• Line drawings add interest and help to hold the reader's attention.

• Diagrams can clarify technical information.

• Charts can present complicated data clearly in a limited space.

5) Make a rough "thumbnail" sketch for each visual image.

6) Once you can see how much copy you have, and how many pictures, you can determine the size of the pamphlet, number of pages, and general layout.

• Consider the paper size and printing method. Since mimeograph is the simplest and least expensive method of reproduction (and since this is an instruction manual for low-cost visual aids), we will offer sample sizes and layouts for 8½" x 11" and 8½" x 13" only.



• Make a dummy. Use a piece of scrap paper the same size that you will use for printing and fold it to create the desired number of pages. If you plan to use two or more sheets of paper for each pamphlet, fold these also. Stack them together prior to making the final fold.



• Once the sheets are folded and stacked, number each page consecutively on the bottom. Then open the sheet out flat. You will see that consecutive pages do not necessarily lie next to each other. The order of the pages on the flat layout is called the page imposition.

• Below are examples of page impositions for 2 and 3-fold pamphlets. For single fold pamphlets, follow the instructions for comic books.



1 sheet, 2 fold (8 pages)

2 sheets, 2 fold (16 pages)

1 sheet, 3 fold (16 pages)

2 sheets, 3 fold (32 pages)


7) Make a sample layout.

• Measure the pamphlet size and figure out how many typed characters will fit on one line of copy.

pica typewriters: 10 characters/inch

elite typewriter: 12 characters/inch

Allow for margins.


A 2-fold, 8 page pamphlet printed on 8½" x 11" paper has a 4¼" x 5½" page size. Allowing for a V margin on either side of the copy, there remains 3 3/4".



To figure the length of a line of typed copy, multiply the number of inches times the number of characters per inch.

3 3/4" x 10 = 37 characters (pica)

3 3/4" x 12 = 45 characters (elite)

(If you are hand-lettering the copy, write it all out in columns of the correct width.)


• Type all the copy in columns no wider than the total number of characters your page size will accomodate.

• On a large piece of brown paper, rule each page spread to actual size. A page spread shows the pages consecutively as they will appear to the reader.

Page spread


• Cut the columns of copy apart and lay them out on the page spreads so that you can see how the pages will look. Make the drawings to size and place them in position on the appropriate pages. Make adjustments as necessary until you are completely satisfied with the layout of the pamphlet.

• Accurately rule a sample layout on a piece of paper the same size as you will use to print. Number the pages according to the correct imposition (see above).

• Beginning with page 1, shift the copy and visuals from the sample page spreads to the correct page on the layout. Be sure that the copy and the visuals are facing in the right direction. Paste them in position.

• Follow the finished layout to cut the stencil.

• Run off the desired number of copies on the mimeograph machine. Cut the pages as necessary. Collate and staple.