Affinity Mapping (aka Affinity Diagram)


Have each student write their response(s) on sticky notes. They can share with a partner. Once everyone has had a chance to share their ideas, return attention to the whole class and invite one student to begin by reading their issue aloud and then sticking it anywhere up on the wall. Ask students who think that their issue is similar to cluster their sticky notes around the original. Continue this process one issue at a time until everyone has found a spot on the wall. This will create a visual cluster analysis. Students are free to move theirs at any point throughout this process if they hear another one that fits with theirs better. After all the issues have been placed on the wall, place labels to characterize the issues/themes. This affinity map can be photographed to revisit later. This is a great starting off point to lead to question generation, individual or group research projects.