Affinity Diagram



Affinity Diagram is a brainstorming tool used to gather numerous ideas. Once ideas are generated, Affinity Diagrams go one step further by sorting and organizing the ideas into categories. Affinity is a simple-to-use tool to gather and sort ideas.

When to use

this strategy:

At the beginning/introduction to a lesson.

When there is a need to sort and categorize information.

When you want students to engage in brainstorming.



Use an Affinity Diagram to recall information from a story.

Use an Affinity Diagram to explore various geometric shapes.

Use an Affinity Diagram to show what you know about mammals.

Use an Affinity Diagram to recall what you learned about mapping.


What does

it look like?

An Affinity Diagram has no definite template. It is a brainstorming tool where there are many ideas written on post-it notes, then sorted into categories and given titles.

How to use

this strategy:

First, identify the topic to brainstorm. Next, ask students to write as many ideas as they can think of about the topic on post-it notes. (only one idea per post-it) Allow students to discuss/share their ideas. Students then sort their ideas into categories. The group gives each category a sub-title. Share each groupís affinity with the class for a rich discussion.