Is there anything better than cooking together? Science finds that reading poetry and singing bring people together better than anything else. I've found that sharing poems with students, as well as reciting poems is something that's becoming much more popular again among younger people. Poems allow us to connect in a way that other forms of the written word don't. In language class, the oral and spoken communications take some practice and focus, and memorizing poetry develop the ability to focus and concentrate for long periods of time.
Surprisingly, students of the first year Russian picked up poems that they feel capture exactly what they are feeling, while were not able to put it into the words, but Russian poets have those words. I think that that's what makes baking and reciting poems so enjoyable and productive activity.