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Luis Cruz Azaceta's "Shifting States: Iraq"

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Civics +7 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old), Post-Secondary, Adults

This teaching collection helps students to think critically and globally by using two Thinking Routines to explore the painting, "Shifting States: Iraq," by Cuban American artist Luis Cruz Azaceta. The work is a metaphorical representation of the unrest taking place in Iraq, and more broadly, an exploration of the human condition during times of crisis.

Included here are the work itself from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, a video with curator E. Carmen Ramos, another video from, two suggested Thinking Routines - "Colors, Shapes, Lines" and "The 3 Y's" - from Harvard's Project Zero Artful Thinking and Global Thinking materials, and three other works by Azaceta in the Smithsonian collections.

For use in Social Studies, Spanish, English, American History, Art History classes


Shifting States: Iraq

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Colors / Shapes / Lines: Project Zero Artful Thinking Routine

Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access

Shifting States: Egypt 2

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The 3Ys: Project Zero Global Competency Routine

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access

No Parking Here Any Time

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Fragile Crossing

Smithsonian American Art Museum

PDF: Harvard's Project Zero Global Thinking Routines

Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education