The most common question I hear when talking about poetry is that students just don't understand the point of studying it. I've also heard some teachers flounder on why we should bother. This article is a good place to start understanding the value of poetry in the classroom and why we shouldn't let this important aspect of language disappear from mainstream knowledge.
Few students (or teachers, for that matter) really understand the importance of poetry. Celebrating National Poetry Month can help clarify why studying poetry is not an antiquated idea, and the Library of Congress's Poetry and Literature department page is a great place to start. Click around and explore all the great stuff, but be sure to check out a full biography and explanation of the role of the current Poet Laureate of the United States.
Want to explore poetry in a more hands-on and meaningful way than just talking about it? Here's a list of hands-on poetry-related activities for the classroom with brief descriptions and photos of example projects.
People love to rhyme (just ask Paul Simon!), so rhyming is a great introduction to poetry writing. Here's a rhyming dictionary to help when students get stuck. It also has different rhyming options for more advanced students or a teacher who is looking for some help with poetry of her own.
Poetry memorization may be largely a thing of the past, but there is still value in this exercise. Here is a blog post about poetry memorization with a short list of suggested poems (with links) to memorize.