Poetry is a great tool for teaching more than rhymes, rhythm, and poetic devices. It can be a vehicle for exploring a host of different language arts topics. For example, the following poem is replete with contractions.
So, after presenting the poem to your class, conduct a lesson on contractions. This could be a whole group lesson or a small group effort, depending on the ages and needs of your students. It could also be a literacy center activity with individual copies for each student and the directive to highlight the contractions. Then the task could require pupils to write the 2 component words for each contraction on the back of the poem or another sheet of paper.
Quotation marks are also prevalent in this poem. Hence, you could use this poem to study quotation marks, speaker tags, and the various rules that quotation marks invoke in reading and writing. This can be especially effective if you engage your students in choral readings of the poem.
Assign one student to read all of the narration and speaker tags, while the remaining children chime in with the quotations. You will love the focus this generates.
In my experience, children, especially reluctant readers, find poetry less threatening to read than prose. Perhaps it's due to the expansive white space. Maybe it's the rhyme and rhythm (when present) that aids predictability and fluency. Whatever the reason, the light that shines in my Title I students' eyes when I bring out a poem is undeniable. And that is enough to cause me to use poetry everyday.
If you are interested in more ideas for using poetry to teach myriad topics, check out my Poetry Possibilities products. They provide the poetry and possibilities for lessons.