Card Sort

Looking for great ideas on how to use your Thinking Maps® card sort set???


  1. Sort the cards in any way that makes sense.
  2. Remove the Map images. Sort the cards.
  3. Remove the Map images and names. Sort the cards.
  4. Sort the cards by Map. Add sticky notes to the end of each category and create a Map example for each category that you would use
  5. Sort the cards by Cognitive Process/Map. Time yourself. Do it again. Did you get faster? Repeat.
  6. Sort the cards by Cognitive Process/Map. Come up with an example Guiding Question for each category.
  7.  Sort the cards by Cognitive Process/Map. Come up with an example Command for each category.
  8. Add a new set of cards with Guiding Questions relevant to __________


  1. Lay the cards (all or some of the card categories) out face down and play Concentration/Memory. (Must have 4 related terms to match.)
  2. Sort out the cards and remove a card from any category with an odd number.  Deal out the cards. Play Old Maid with pairs by Cognitive Process category- let the Thinking Maps header card be the “Old Maid”.
  3. Use the cards to group kids homogeneously (by Cognitive Process/Map) or heterogeneously (by Cognitive Process/Map).
  4. Select a card to do an exit ticket.
  5. Select a card to do a warm-up/bell ringer activity.
  6. Watch a movie, listen to a song, look at a piece of art and select a minimum of 3 cards and Map the topic.
  7. Select a card and find the “perfect” representation of that kind of thinking in a short story, poem, song, character, etc.
  8. Choose a class/group problem to solve. (i.e. noise in the lunchroom, voter fraud, etc.) Choose a card and create a Map or Maps using that Cognitive Process to engage that kind of thinking in an effort to help solve the problem.
  9. Use the header (Map name or image or cognitive process) cards. Each person/group chooses one and:
    1. Make a circle map about each Map. “What do you know about ___ Map?”
    2. Sequence them in order. Try: 
      1. most to least comfortable for you, 
      2. most to least important for a particular task or text, 
      3. most to least used by you, students, teacher, ages, etc.
    3. Describe each Map.
    4. Choose 2 header cards:
      1. Create a Double Bubble Map. What do these 2 Maps have in common?
      2. Create a Bridge Map - What relating factor works?
    5. Think of as many ways as possible to categorize the Maps:
      1. Easier/harder to draw
      2. Easier/harder to use
      3. More or less effective for a particular task
      4. Which use circles? Rectangles? Lines?

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