Innovative Resources


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Narratives, metaphors and storytelling have become an important part of counselling and social work practice. But stories don’t have to be therapeutic or life-changing. Sometimes we just need to escape into ‘once upon a time…’

Storycatching is a wonder-sparking set of 80 storytelling prompts. The cards are quirky, surprising, occasionally edgy and perfect for making your mind buzz with memories and creative possibilties. From the classroom to the Scouts’ Hall, from counselling scenarios to long drives in the car, these cards are ideal for unlocking the stories of people of all ages!

  • Workshop opener: Lay the cards out on a table or on the floor where participants arrive. Ask each person to select a card that prompts a story about why they are at the workshop or what they hope to get out of the workshop. Alternatively, use Storycatching as an opener to a meeting or gathering.
  • Listening: Working in pairs, invite each participant to choose a Storycatching card. Each participant has two minutes to tell their story while their partner simply listens without interruption or comment. How good are we at really listening?
  • Creative writing and journalling: Choose a character from a card. Maybe it’s the elephant about to leap, the bad hair girl, or the embarrassed manikin. Create a dialogue between two or more characters. Or write a monologue from one character’s perspective.
  • Memory game: Lay out all the Storycatching cards on the floor or table. Have everyone in the group scan them for a minute. Now turn them all face down. Ask everyone to write on a sheet of paper as many of the objects from the cards as they can remember. How many can you remember? 10? 20? 40?

Like any set of cards that are used for conversation building or story prompting, the ways in which you use Storycatching will be driven by your purpose, passion, curiosity and creativity. Storycatching covers a wide range of subject matter and emotional territory. It is a simple and versatile resource that does not require any special training to be used.

Teachers, youth workers, parents and creative arts therapists: here’s the resource you need to get young people telling stories and reflecting on their thoughts, feelings, memories and attitudes to life!


Published by Innovative Resources, 2008
ISBN:978 1 920945 24 4
80 full-colour, laminated cards, 80mm x 110mm
2-part cardboard box, 24-page booklet
Author: John Holton
Illustrator: Ray Bowler