Lifting the Page

Lifting the Page is a series of lesson plans for readers, writers, instructors, librarians, friends, fans, and other curious parties. Each lesson plan features literature from the MQR archives, and includes multimodal invitations to engagement, discussion questions and a creative writing prompt.  

Michigan Quarterly Review Lesson Plans

These lesson plans hope to “lift the page” – to stretch literary arts journals to new space(s) of learning, and to reveal the magic, sweetness, textured joys and critical spaces for breath that literature can hold. Lifting the Page also aims to expand community access to literature and literary arts journals, bringing more contemporary, living literature into classroom and community settings. By engaging in these reading and writing prompts, we hope readers can also figuratively “lift the page” to reveal new critical thought, new creative experiment and new questions. 

These lesson plans are designed with the current educational context in mind; as many readers and writers shift to online learning experiences, Lifting the Page provides scaffolding for learning content either individually and remotely, or within a physical learning community. Current lesson plans are designed for high school aged students, or older. 

The lesson plans featured in Lifting the Page hope to encourage a sense of courage, openness, urgency, and experiment. They hope to provide space to read and learn literature globally and locally, and to recognize the writing process as mobile and alive. These lesson plans are offerings: have fun!

Carlina Duan, May 2020

You can access each lesson plan as a PDF through the links below. Please contact for information about discounted MQRs for classroom use. 

Unit 1

Voyage Making from What Does Europe Want Now?, Fall 2019
With poems from Marianne Chan and Daniela Danz 
Talking to the Water: Narratives of Flint from Flint and Beyond, Spring 2016
With a poem from Tarfia Faizullah 
Ode to Home(s) from The Great Lakes: Love Song and Lament, Summer 2011
With poems from John Repp and Margaret Noori

Unit 2

Two Truths, One Lie from Summer 2020
With a story from Glenda Conway
Self Portraiture from Summer 2020
With poems from Yusef Komunyakaa and Lesley Wheeler 

Unit 3

Introduction by Isabel Neal

Time Travel: Digging (for HS students or older) 
“what you’d find buried in the dirt under charles f. Kettering sr. high school (detroit, michigan)” by francine j. harris
Time Travel: Mapping (for MS students or older)
“Inland” by Zhu Zhu, translated from the Chinese by Dong Li