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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


A visual aid is any item which can be seen by the audience and which supports and supplements the verbal presentation by concretizing and clarifying the spoken message. Visual aids can also reinforce the educational message by encouraging and stimulating audience participation. The aid may be as simple and prosaic a tool as a chalkboard or as technologically sophisticated as a videotape. The emphasis in this workshop is on low-cost, low-tech visual aids which can be easily constructed by the average person from locally available materials.

In each category you will find step-by-step instructions for both making and using the visual aid under discussion. Whenever possible, we offer alternative methods for you to choose from. A number of examples for specific application are also provided. Feel free to use any or all of these ideas as given or adapt them to suit your particular need.

As you become more familiar with the number and variety of teaching aids available to you, as well as more adept at using these aids to support your educational message, the easier you will find it to develop your own materials. The secret to your success lies in your ability to maintain an open mind, in your willingness to innovate and try new methods, and most important of all, in your commitment to a health education program that respects the people it seeks to serve.

Health education is the first essential element of primary health care. Health for all by the year 2000 will become a reality only if our educational efforts are focused, not on telling people what they should do, but on motivating people to think things through and discover solutions for themselves. Participatory teaching strategies supported by visual aids stimulate people's powers of observation and reason and encourage them to become self-reliant. As we allow our audiences to take responsibility for their own learning, so will they learn to make thoughtful decisions about their health and the well-being of their families. And this, of course, is both the foundation and ultimate goal of the primary health care-approach.