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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

2. Charts

A chart is a visual aid that presents relatively complex information, especially statistical data, in an orderly form.

To make a chart:

1) Arrange your information according to what it is you want to say.

2) Be sure that the paper or poster board on which you draw the chart is large enough to contain all the information you need to present and still be readable from a distance. Consider the size of the audience, the presentation area, and the seating arrangement.

3) Use pictures and/or easily understood symbols as well as words and numbers.

Example: Compare the following charts.




Which chart is more interesting? Why? Which chart do you think would be more meaningful to a barangay audience?

4) Labels and titles should be CLEAR, BRIEF, and ACCURATE.

5) Use color to attract and hold attention.


To use a chart:

1) Try to avoid explaining the chart to your audience. A well-designed chart should be easily understood.

2) Charts can be used by the health educator to involve community members in analyzing and discussing a variety of health and nutrition issues.

• Introduce the topic

• Ask several volunteers to tell the group what the chart means to them. Encourage discussion.


Facilitator: Maria, what do you think this chart is trying to tell us?

Maria: (answers)

Facilitator: How about you, Emma? What do you think?

Emma: (gives her opinion)

Facilitator: Paz, do you agree with Maria, with Emma? Why do you think we need vitamin A? and so forth...

NOTE: If there is confusion about the meaning of the chart, then it needs to be redesigned to make the message clear.

3) Community members can supply their own data for the chart as a prelude to discussion. This approach personalizes the educational message, making it more interesting and meaningful to the audience.



To make the FOOD HABITS chart:

(a) Construct a large FOOD HABITS chart with simple drawings of locally available foods at the top. You may want to group foods with similar nutritional value in the same square (e.g petsay, malunggay, and kamote tops) so that you will have enough space to present the greatest variety. Provide several blank rows beneath the food pictures. Use an exacto knife (or a razor blade) to cut a small slit in each blank square.

(b) Cut out a number of paper symbols in three different shapes and colors to represent USUALLY, SELDOM, and NEVER. Leave a small tab attached to each symbol.

(c) Post the FOOD HABITS chart on the wall where everyone can easily see it. Put the symbols in marked piles in a spot convenient to the chart.



To use the FOOD HABITS chart:

(a) Ask the audience to think about how often their family eats each food on the chart - "usually", "seldom", or "never".

(b) Request 10 or 12 volunteers, one or two at a time, to place the appropriate symbol under each food by inserting the symbol tab into the slit. Each participant should use one row for his/her symbols.

(c) After all the participants have finished placing their symbols, ask the following questions:

• What foods do most people eat most often?

• What foods are only eaten by a few people?

• What foods are never eaten?

(d) Lead a discussion about why some foods are eaten more often than others. Try to consider issues of cost, availability, traditional beliefs, and customs.


Alternative procedure:

(a) Rather than (or in addition to) using individual replies, ask the group to respond on the first line for all fathers; on the second line for all mothers; on the third line for all pregnant women; on the fourth line for all children from 2 to 5 years old; and on the fifth line for all children from 6 months to 2 years old.

(b) Discuss the different eating habits of each category and why they differ.

(c) Discuss the food needs for the different groups and how current habits can be improved.




Making a seasonal pattern chart enables community members to see how a variety of factors affect their health and the wellbeing of their families. It helps them identify some of the causes for health problems and promotes discussion of possible solutions. The chart also assists the health worker in planning programs and presentations for the most appropriate times. For example, immunization programs can be scheduled for times when the rivers are low and roads in relatively good condition to encourage the maximum number of families to participate; nutrition programs can be designed with respect to seasonally available foods. Information about, and preventative measures for, certain specific diseases can be offered when it is most timely.


a) Reproduce the sample chart on a large piece of brown paper.

b) Explain to participants that you are going to ask them to consider all the factors that regulate the pattern of their lives and that affect their health and well-being. The factors should be general and common to the whole community. The various conditions will be listed in the appropriate monthly column.

Climate: Which months are dry? When is rainy season? When are typhoons most frequent? What are the hot months? Is wind a problem?

Geographical Conditions: Do roads wash out during the rainy season? Are rivers always crossable? Is dust a problem in the dry season? Is the water supply affected by seasonal variation? Are insects more of a problem at one time than another?

Food Production (agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing): When do the farmers plant? cultivate? fertilize? harvest? Which crops? How do the seasons affect the fishing industry? chicken raising? pig breeding?

Food Availability: Which foods are available when? Is there a period of general shortage?

Economic Factors: When do people seem to have the most money? the least? When are expenditures the greatest?

Social Factors: What holidays does the community celebrate? Does the community participate in any seasonal sporting or recreational activities? When are school vacations? Are weddings more frequent at a certain time of year?

Health/Sickness: At what time of the year do people suffer the most from colds and other respiratory ailments? Are diarrhea! diseases more common during a certain season?

















Geographical conditions


Food production


Food availability











What about childhood diseases such as measles, mumps, chicken pox, etc? Do there seem to be more cases of malaria at one time than another?

c) Try to get a consensus as the different factor categories are discussed so that the chart reflects conditions in the community as accurately as possible. Ask a volunteer to note the factors on the chart as each is discussed and agreed upon.

If the audience is too large to permit everyone an opportunity to express his/her opinion, ask participants to break up into 3 or 4 smaller groups to discuss the various factors amongst themselves. A representative from each small group can then report to the group-at-large and the master chart filled out accordingly.

d) Next, ask participants to examine the chart closely. Can they observe any relationship between the general health of the community and other factors? Do any of these factors influence the health and well-being of community members? Can any of these factors be controlled or modified to improve health conditions? How?

e) Encourage the audience to see that they have the power to modify their social, physical, and economic environment in order to promote good health in their community.

f) Schedule a follow-up meeting to set goals, assess resources, and devise an action plan. This might be accomplished by introducing the bridge-building activity described on pages 71-72.