Introduction: This poem is a good choice for third grade. The children are young enough to still be
fascinated with machinery and curious enough to wonder what the machinery would say if it could talk. This poem is simple
for third graders to memorize and perform perhaps on a parents' visitation day.
The Mack Truck and the Shovel
By James Stevenson
The Mack truck and the shovel
Are neighbors in the weeds.
"You used to lift a lot of dirt and rock
In the old days, didn't you?"
says the Mack truck to the shovel.
"Tons and tons," says the shovel.
"Didn't you haul heavy loads
All across the country?"
"Sure did," says the Mack truck.
"Miles and miles."
The weeds bend in the breeze.
"Those were the days," says the shovel.
"Darn right," says the Mack truck.
Poetry Extension: Read the poem once through for the class. Then divide the class in half.
One side is the Mack truck (lines in blue), the other, the shovel (lines in red). Depending on the reading skill of the class
you can read the lines in black or have all the students read them in unison.
After reading, have a discussion about, "What if our toys could talk?" If the class is mature, the discussion
can be extended to larger inanimate objects such as houses, cars, the school, the swing set.
After a lively discussion on talking objects have each child choose two items and write a poem based on the
Stevenson, James. 1998. Popcorn. Ill. by
James Steveson. New York, : Greenwillow. ISBN 0688152619