Arts Responding

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Saving the Runt

A runt in the animal kingdom refers to a small and weaker member of the group. In “Saving the Runt”, Wilbur is a small and weak piglet which faced difficulties in competing with other siblings. Fern’s father wanted to get rid of Wilbur but Fern said she will raise him. In schools, drama is used to promote active and interactive learning among the pupils. Dramatic arts education boosts creative in problem solving among the learners because it challenges their perceptions in their surrounding (Woolland, B. G. 2014). For example in the clip, Fern thought of how to save Wilbur from death. Through drama, the students are able to express their emotions, thoughts and even dreams which cannot be easily expressed. In addition to this, drama improves the communication skills because they communicate and understand others. In the clip ‘Saving the Runt’, Wilbur was able to be friends with the spider “Charlotte” whom to many is a dangerous creature. Drama also enables learners to develop positive self-image through interacting with others. Charlotte the spider convinced the farmer that Wilbur is a valuable pig just like the other pigs. The spider did this by spinning words into her web and this teaches the students that effective communication is not only oral but also written. Judith Dinham (2013) said that drama improves the overall school curriculum because it enables the learners to understand ideas.

In ‘Saving the Runt’, there are three main characters; Fern, Wilbur and Charlotte. This clip describes the role of trust, loyalty and sacrifice in life. Fern noted that Wilbur is a special creature and deserves to live and Fern is not the only person who saw worthiness in Wilbur as Charlotte also did. The two characters showed their loyalty to Wilbur throughout the clip and this established a trust relationship. When Charlotte was about to die, Wilbur denied because Charlotte was special in his life. This clip teaches learners to be loyal and trust others so that they can face challenges.

In drama, characters are used to symbolize different meanings. In the clip, Fern is used to represent care according to the way she was concerned about Wilbur the pig. This enables learners to understand different characters in life (Dinham, J. 2013). In life there are those people who care for others such as parents. The element in the clip is contrast which is used to emphasize something or to draw attention (Roy, D. 2014). In ‘Saving the Runt’, the artist used contrasting sizes, shapes and sound to draw attention. For example, when Wilbur met with Charlotte, the horse feared the spider despite it being a small creature. The artist also alternated sad scenes with happy ones. For example, when the rat informed Wilbur that he will be killed during Christmas and his meat used make sausages, the piglet was so sad. When Charlotte made words on her web that Wilber was “some pig”, then next scene that followed was a celebration. Contrast in drama entertains the learners as well as increases their concentration. Mood is also depicted in the clip and it is presented in form of feelings or tone changing. In the clip, when Charlotte was saying goodbye to Wilbur, the tone became sad. The purpose of mood in drama is to connect feelings in everyday life such as happiness, anger, frustration etc.


Charlotte’s Web: Saving the runt

Dinham, J. (2013). Delivering Authentic Arts Education PDF. Cengage Learning Australia.

Roy, D. (2014). The Pandorica opens: Drama and numeracy potentials in primary school learning. Mask, 37(2), 12.

Woolland, B. G. (2014). The teaching of drama in the primary school. Routledge.