Frequently Asked Questions
Can I buy other themed images for use with Mighty Writer?
The Mighty Writer master set comes with 88 themed images to kick-start your children’s imaginations. There are various other themed toolbars available for purchase, including Space, Jack and the Beanstalk, Around the World and Mini Beasts, to name a few! Take a look at the full range here!
We are always open to suggestions for new themes, so please get in touch if you have an idea!
Contact us now if you would like to suggest any additional themes!
Where can I learn to use Mighty Writer?
Our Teacher Zone is the best place to start to learn how to use Mighty Writer. It’s full of useful resources such as training videos, instruction guides, lesson plans and worksheets. On request we are also happy to come out to your school to demonstrate the best ways to use Mighty Writer if you are happy to organise a Cluster Meeting of local schools. If you can organise a group of 10 head teachers or more, we’ll even give you another free Mighty Writer master set! Learn more here!
How can I use Mighty Writer to help pupils who are struggling with writing?
Mighty Writer allows teachers to model each stage of the writing process. Using the space on the mat, children can lay out images, connecting them by arrows to form simple stories.
They can then move onto putting their story into sentences, using the sentence mats. You can talk the child through each stage until they become more confident, helping them to use conjunctions, images and punctuation. Support your child by encouraging them to retell the tale until they know their story by heart. When they have used Mighty Writer a few times they can begin to record their stories, using either the mat as a point of reference or the worksheets based on the Mighty Writer format, helping them recall the story as they write.
Our Instruction Guide explains the many different ways you can use Mighty Writer to enable your child to become confident planning and recording their ideas.
How does Mighty Writer work with current curriculum planning?
Mighty Writer complements your current planning and allows you to teach it in a simple and effective way.
Themed and topic-based image toolbars link to current planning to allow you to retell known stories, plan and edit recounts and create brand-new stories. Mighty Writer actively encourages talk and you can use it to focus on modelling the beginning, middle and end of stories. It also enables you to focus on sentence work, developing characters, settings and linking ideas. You can use it with the whole class, groups or individuals to focus on specific areas you want to develop.
The toolbars can be used to focus on certain conjunctions and types of punctuation. Once the planning and editing stage is completed you can model writing the story, talking the children through the process of following the plan they have created on the Mighty Writer map.
Take a look at our Curriculum References Guide for more ways you can use Mighty Writer to support your existing lesson plans.
Why is Mighty Writer more effective if used in each year group?
Mighty Writer is designed to support each stage of the process of learning to write, from retelling, planning, editing and creating. It develops children’s ability to speak in full sentences and teaches them how sentence and story structures are created.
If used from Reception, children can use Mighty Writer to create stories at their level, from just using images, to creating increasingly complex sentences and story structure. When used in each class of KS1, it provides a consistent approach that can be built on year by year.
If used regularly, children become increasingly aware of all the elements that they need to include in their writing. The accompanying Mighty Writer lesson plans allow them to work independently and include what they’ve learned in their writing.
The teacher is able to choose what elements of the mat the children will use, by providing the conjunctions, number of images and type of punctuation the children have access to, while the children feel they have complete ownership of the story.
Which age group is Mighty Writer designed for?
Mighty Writer is commonly introduced to children in Early Years and Key Stage One, allowing them to hone the skills required for transcription and composition. However, many pupils will still benefit from using Mighty Writer in Key Stage Two - particularly if they lacked confidence in earlier years.
Are Reception children too young to use Mighty Writer?
Mighty Writer is an excellent resource for young children to help them begin to engage with and enjoy the processes that lead to becoming a confident writer. The resource is based on the use of images and symbols with an emphasis on talking.
The mat is tactile and fascinating for children to interact with. Teachers can just focus on teaching children to retell and create stories practically until they are ready to begin to record. The mat can be tailored to suit the needs of all learners.
Will Mighty Writer engage more gifted children?
Mighty Writer encourages children to extend their thinking and think creatively about their writing.
Using the wide range of images, children can create and edit their stories and – either independently or with support – think about sentence and story structure and how this can be made increasingly complex for different effects. The use of blank tiles allows children to incorporate any of their own ideas for words or images, so there are no limits to their imagination and flow of thought. The story maps allow children to plan at length and in as much detail as they wish.
The emphasis on images and symbols aid recall and consolidate learning as children rehearse and retell.
Will EAL students benefit from Mighty Writer?
Mighty Writer is a fantastic resource to use with children who have English as an Additional Language, as they benefit from the visual and kinaesthetic approach.
Through regular exposure and use of this resource they can visualise stories and actively participate in retelling and creating. They can communicate their ideas and level of understanding by moving the images and symbols. It supports them in beginning to use key words and phrases.
Teachers can help them to develop their English language skills by demonstrating and modelling the different steps in creating sentences and building a story structure.
Will Mighty Writer challenge and extend confident writers?
Mighty Writer can be used within a class to focus on the development of different skills for different ability groups.
When planning next steps for the more able children, you can actively demonstrate and model increasingly sophisticated skills. It is easy to talk through the editing process and model making changes to create certain effects. Children are actively engaged and involved. Encourage children to find different ways to structure sentences and use sentence openers and conjunctions.
They can use their own story maps to practice and consolidate these skills, until they become increasingly confident at critiquing their own writing.
Does Mighty Writer conflict with other learning resources?
Mighty Writer is compatible with other teaching strategies you already use, and they can be incorporated into your use of the resource in your classroom.
It allows you to have all you need in one place, allowing you the option of what to include in your teaching, and keeping it simple for both you and the children.
"The Year 1 teachers have started using the mats and, in just 2 weeks, we have already seen an improvement in the children's writing - especially the boys!"
Emma Foyle, Deputy Headteacher, Stourfield Infant School, Bournemouth