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S3+ Resource for the Spanish language film 'La Apertura'


Film title: La Apertura

Genre: Live-action drama

Synopsis: Daniel is about to get it all: the girl, the dream, the way out of his poor Buenos Aires neighbourhood. There is only one problem; he has to betray his best friend to do it.

Suggested age group: S3 upward

Place for this activity within MLAN curriculum:

  • Knowledge of other cultures/countries
  • Grammar
  • CFE

Learning objectives:

  • To use film as an alternative way to access the curriculum
  • For pupils to get to know other countries where Spanish is spoken in both cultural and geographical aspects
  • Confident Individuals – Presentations on SA countries

Cross curricular/interdisciplinary work:

  • Geography
  • MIE – reading films

Resources required:

Computer, projector, additional worksheets and PowerPoint.

Prior Learning/Before viewing

  • Hold a discussion about future goals and aspirations – the idea of what pupils would like to be (brings in conditional tense and links in with saying what you would like to do in Spanish);

  • Revision of different types of jobs in Spanish;

  • Pupils should know when to use 'ser' and 'estar'.



Opening sequence watch up to 1min. (Top and tail) whilst viewing the first minute, the pupils have to think and write down:

  • What they see/hear?
  • What type of film it could be?
  • What is he looking at?

Watch the scene with Dani and Mariano speaking to the two guys at the corner 2:002:55

Write 3 words to describe both Mariano and Dani at this stage – in English or TL depending on level

(Pupils should hopefully notice Mariano’s arrogance and the way Dani is quite coy.)

Also, ask the pupils to compare Mariano and Dani with the 2 guys – are they typical of young people? Ambitious Vs less ambitious?

15 mins – why is Mariano acting the way he is towards Dani?

15:07 – what does this pictures tell you about how Dani is feeling – Dani’s diemna – chase dream or friendship with Mariano?

Grid Analysis:

Following the technique described on the 'Grid Analysis' page, split flipchart paper/board into 4 sections:

  • Similarities

  • Surprises

  • Patterns

  • Puzzles

As a class discuss the film using these sub headings as a basis for discussion and deeper analysis of the film’s characteristics.

Main Activities

This ties in with several aspects of the Curriculum for Excellence capacities.

MLAN 306a or MLAN 406a (Depending on level of class)

Looking at Organising and using information:

A look at Spanish speaking countries in South America

This film is shot in Argentina, so it would be good for pupils to know other countries where they speak Spanish.

See attached PPT on 'Spanish speaking South American countries'

  • Look at where the countries are, flags and capital cities to get pupils acquainted.

  • Group work or individual – 'Worksheet on working out the names of the countries' – countries numbered and using internet pupils have to figure out the numbered countries from the map.

  • Group work project – each group is given a South Africa country to research and produce a presentation on their country.

Suggested criteria:

  • Main city/cities in the country;
  • Where exactly it is in South America;
  • Weather;
  • Food and drink;
  • Places and interests;
  • Flag;
  • Main industries.

These projects can be presented to the class and peer assessed

Me gustaría – I would like / Me gustaría ser – I would like to be

Hold a discussion about what pupils want to do in the future.

Group Game: Build up a chain of pupils saying what they want to do: I want to be, he wants to be, she wants to be…

Each person repeats ambition of previous person then adds their own – this is a good exercise for changing the subject of the sentence and for revising professions.

e.g. Claire le gustaría ser professor, Mark le gustaría ser médico, me gustaría ser un futbolista...

MLAN 305a Listening and Working with others

MLAN 406a

‘Listo’ (Dani getting his picture taken in opening sequence)

In the context we saw this means “ready?” However, in a different context it could mean intelligent.

In Spanish there are two verbs which mean to be – ser and estar and often the words which follow can mean something different.

MLAN 312a MLAN 412a

See attached 'Adjectives activity for La Apertura Feature Resource' pdf with exercises related to this.

Writing – literacy across learning

  • Writing postcards/letters/emails/facebook posts from Dani and Suyai in Europe

  • Pupils given template for structure, but room for imagination on what to write

MLAN 213a

See attached word document, 'Letter Writing Prompt Sheet for La Apertura Feature Resource'.

Extension activities

A film poster in target language; with genre, characters, a strapline to sell the film.

You may want to use screengrabs of tango dancing, cut out or photoshopped pictures of characters, the Eiffel tower/Paris link.

Show famous film poster for ideas of what to include.

Followup Discussion

In relation to what has been discussed, what now do you think the title is about: La Apertura – means ‘the opening’

Mariano says:

“Suyai will kill me if I don’t get this one!” (referring to the audition) is this because she is trying to use Mariano?

Does Suyai like Dani or is he her ‘apertura’ to a better life?

Or is dancing the tango Dani’s ‘apertura’?

Vocabulary, phrases and grammar lists appropriate to the film

Tranquilo – Calm down

¿Cómo estas? – How are you?

Todo bien – Everything is good

¿Dónde vas? – Where are you going?

iVenga! –Come on!

Nos saca unas fotos – We are having some pictures taken

¿Dónde fuiste? – Where did you go?

¿Qué te pasa? – What’s up?

En serio – Seriously

Poco tiempo – Not long

No me falles – Don’t let me down

Puede ser – Perhaps

Un bailarín/una bailarina – a dancer

¿Quieres viajar? – Do you want to travel?

Estar enojado – To be angry

e.g. estoy enojado – I am angry

Tener que + infinitive – To have to do something

e.g. tengo que comer – I have to eat

Una lástima – A pity

Resource created by Liam McGeady (2010)