I love using short poetry in my language class. This year, I spent a chunk of my homeroom (about 10 minutes) using tanka and haiku as a the basis for language and conversation warm-up activities. At the Heart of the Matter, Literature in Language Teaching Conference, I gave a 40 minute presentation on the kinds of activities I used and my students reactions to those activities. I am including the Power Point of the presentation here. If you glance at the presenter notes, you will find some detailed ideas that I shared when showing each slide.
I also have a short blog post which has most of the short poems that I shared in the presentation: 9 Tanka