Spread and lay all of the cards face-up on flat surface (table, floor, ground.)
Pose a question which invites each person to reflect on their experience.
Ask each person to select one or more cards which reflects their response to your question.
Invite sharing in pairs, small groups of the whole group.
How To Play Narrative
In advance, or in view of your group, take a moment to spread all of the cards from a deck of Climer Cards on any flat surface, such as a table, the floor or ground.
Gather your group around the cards, and allow a moment for the group to survey what lays before them.
When ready, tell your group that in moment, you would like each person to choose one card from the pile to reflect their best response to a question you are about to pose.
For example, you may ask each person to pick a card that most closely reflects how they are feeling right now. Or, to choose a card that best reflects how well the group is looking after itself. Or, as simple as picking a card that reminds them of something they like in their life.
Having picked a card (or cards,) enter into a time of sharing.
Pairs works very well to encourage lots of interaction, so too do small groups. By all means, if your group enjoys a strong sense of community and a positive, supportive environment, invite sharing in a whole group.
Practical Leadership Tips
Note, the Climer Cards offer many, many uses on top of their use as a reflection tool – as a tool to invite sharing at the beginning of your program, to inspire creativity, build team skills and have fun. Take a look at the Variations tab, and click here to download a free ebook describing some of these ideas.
Depicting only images, these cards are ideal for use with multi-lingual groups.
Depending on the topic and nature of the group this process can bring up deep feelings for some people. Be prepared as a facilitator to support what comes up and allow space for a range of emotions.
For the record, Amy Climer, the developer of the cards, hand-painted all of the 52 watercolour images.
To learn more about how Amy created this set of cards, click here to view a short 6-minute video.
Health & Wellness Programming
As a colourful and versatile reflection tool, Climer Cards are a wonderful resource to invite your group to explore and discuss many social and interpersonal skills. Frame your question or statement and then follow the instructions above to guide your group’s discussion about relevant SEL competencies.
You can learn more about SEL and how it can support character education here.
Use the image-side of the cards to inspire your group to reflect on a variety of learning topics to help them identify the sort of group norms that they want to create. For example, you could pose one or more of the following questions to ignite a powerful conversation such as:
Choose an image that best reflects … your present state of mind.
… the sort of future you see for this group.
… the dreams you hold for yourself and the group.
… what’s getting in the way of this group’s progress.
… how the group could improve its effectiveness.
Shape Sharing: Nominate a question to each of the five shapes which appear on one side of the cards – circle, square, triangle, pentagon and star. For example, a circle means something that makes you feel happy, a square is something that is a personal goal, etc. In small groups, ask individuals to randomly pick a card from a deck sitting in front of them, and respond accordingly.
Story Time: Form small groups of 4 to 6 people, and randomly distribute one card to each person. Ask each small group to create a story which incorporates all of the images shown on the cards.
Metaphor Prompts: Lay all of the cards in front of your group. Ask each person (or small groups) to select one card that metaphorically represents their response to one or more statements or questions you pose. For example, pick a card that represents what you understand to be leadership or a card that symbolises how you are feeling about the group’s performance.
Group Initiative: Take a look at Get Twenty to explore a fun problem-solving exercise using these cards.
Open the Virtual Adaptation tab to learn how to present this activity online.
In advance, scan as many Climer Cards (picture-side facing) onto one page. Share this collage with your group via the primary (presenter) screen and instruct everyone to switch to this view. Use these images to prompt your reflection process or any of the activities described above.
For large groups, divide into X number of breakout rooms and invite the sharing to occur in smaller teams.
Don’t have Climer Cards? Create your own collage of images to produce the prompts, eg newspapers, magazines, internet-sourced images, etc.
You can purchase a virtual set of Climer Cards here.
Non-threatening method to invite sharing in a group.
Simple & powerfully emotive processing strategy.
Useful Framing Ideas
It may sound like:
“NOT YET, BUT WHEN I SAY GO, MOVE INTO THE MIDDLE AND SELECT A CARD THAT SOMEHOW BEST REPRESENTS YOU. IT CAN BE LITERAL SUCH AS ‘I LIKE TO RIDE A BIKE’ OR IT CAN BE A MORE METAPHORIC MEANING. IF TWO PEOPLE WANT TO SHARE CARDS THEY CAN, THEY WILL JUST LINK ELBOWS TO INDICATE THEY ARE SHARING CARDS. ONCE YOU GET YOUR CARD, RETURN TO THE CIRCLE…”
Amy produces a terrific free podcast called The Deliberate Creative Podcast. Listen to Episode #24 – How to Use Climer Cards to Increase Creativity, in which Amy shares many more tips and activity ideas to use these cards to increase creativity. The episode is available to listen for free here.
You can also view a short video in which Amy describes how these cards were developed.