Lesson 2: Exploring “In the Pines”

Aim: How can we explore musical and emotional opposites in “In the Pines”?
Summary: Students learn “In the Pines” by exploring musical and emotional opposites.
Materials: Musical Explorers CD or online audio, Musical Explorers Student Guide, chart paper, markers
Time Required: 30 minutes (three 10-minute activities)
Standards: US 1, 2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5, 6, 7.1, 7.2, 8, 10, 11; GA 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9; SC 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Vocabulary: emotions, mood

Sing “In the Pines”


Find Emotional Opposites Through Singing “In the Pines”

  • Share the lyrics of “In the Pines” with the students. Discuss the idea of how we feel when someone in our lives goes away.

    • What emotions or feelings would you have if someone important to you left for a long time?
  • Write down these emotions on chart paper or on the board. This will be the beginning of the “Emotional Opposites” list.
  • Brainstorm opposites for each of these emotion words (e.g., sad/happy, gloomy/funny, serious/silly).
  • Have students demonstrate facial expressions to go with each word and draw them on SG14 (print out SG14 for individual student use, or draw faces as a class on the SmartBoard).

In the Pines

In the pines, in the pines
Where the sun never shines
And we shiver when the cold wind blows

Little girl, little girl, what have I done
That’s made you treat me so
You caused me to weep, you caused me to mourn
You caused me to leave my home



The longest train I ever saw
Went down that Georgia line
The engine passed at six o’clock
And the cab went by at nine



The longest train I ever saw
Is nineteen coaches long
The only girl I ever loved
Is on that train and gone



Explore Mood in “In the Pines” and “Cluck Old Hen”

  • In music, we use the term mood to describe the emotion or feeling created by the music.
  • Listen to “In the Pines,” Track 13.

    • What do you hear in the song? Is it fast or slow? Loud or soft?
    • What is the mood of this song? How does the music tell us what the mood is?
    • What is the mood of “Cluck Old Hen”? How is it different from “In the Pines”?Have students document their answers on SG15 (print out SG15 for individual student use, or decide as a class with the SmartBoard).
  • Have students choose a new mood for “In the Pines” or “Cluck Old Hen” and sing a version of the song that shows the change in mood.
  • Now that they have the new mood, have them perform their new version of the song and reflect on their choices.

    • What did you do to create the new mood? Did it go faster or slower? Is it louder or softer? What other changes did you make?

Musical Word Wall

Add the words emotions and mood to the Musical Word Wall.

PDF Downloads

SG14 ↓ Download File
SG15 ↓ Download File