Sorting tasks

Sorting tasks are a good way to help children think about their thoughts, feelings and values. They can be particularly helpful for children who are finding it harder to engage.  You can use symbols, words or pictures on separate tiles. The child should be given the options one at a time and asked them to sort them into categories. The categories could be

  • Things you like doing, things you don’t like doing, things you don’t mind
  • What makes you feel happy/angry/scared
  • What is important to you








This could be adapted to condition specific questions, such as: ‘what are you struggling or succeeding with regarding your health condition?’ or ‘what activities in your life are you not managing so well?’ Sorting tasks can support people to structure and verbalise their thoughts and to express negative as well as positive views. It can reduce the tendency for people to agree with everything. The act of physically moving the pictures or symbols allows people to organise their thoughts in a logical way. The pictures show three different sorting tasks; an appraisal (top), thinking about activities at school (middle) and thinking about daily activities with a patient (bottom).

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