Today at the Summer Institute, I learned the term Po-Jack. I think the phrase was coined by Eddie, though I’m not sure where it originated. The term comes from two words: Poetry and jack, as in to rob, steal, heist, lift; I guess you get my point.

The teacher takes a poem by a published author and encourages the students to “jack” a line and do one or more things.

Use the Po-Jacked line to

1. create a line of one’s own;

2. serve as an epigraph of one’s own poem inspired by the jacked line; or

3. create something somewhat new by deleting or rearranging some of the jacked poem.

In any case, Po-Jacks are a great strategy to help students who are reluctant poets. While Milner & Milner’s Bridging English may call this imitation or using templates, I prefer the coarseness and humor of Eddie’s term, and perhaps your students will, too.