Materials Needed:
- Large poster board
- Markers
- Handout of discussion points

  1. After reading the book, A Band of Angels, break the class into groups of 4 or 5.
  2. In their groups, have the students discuss the story and the different decisions that were made by the main character, Ella. Also, have them discuss the consequences of those decisions and how they affected others. Have each group compile a list of the decisions and their consequences on all of the characters involved. Some examples may be:
    • When slavery ended, Ella made the decision to go to college and be educated even though the odds were against her.
      • Effects: She joined the chorus and, and an even bigger consequence, saves the school from being closed.
    • Ella made the decision to join the choir at Fisk and this gave her continued joy for singing.
      • Effects: She was a big reason that the school was saved. She decided to sing the jubilee songs that everyone loved, which made the money needed to repair their college for future generations.
    • Once the school was saved, Ella continued to sing and never returned to Fisk University.
      • Effects: She never received her education that she had worked so hard for in the beginning.
      • She became renowned in music and made her school a better place for African American students.
      • She inspired her great-great-granddaughter to become a jubilee singer, but also to go to college and finish.

3. Once students have had ample time for discussion, bring them back together as one large group and discuss some of the things that each group talked about.

4. Then, using the poster board, make a chart of cause/effect for the students. On one side, write the decision, or cause, and on the other side write the consequence, or effect. Make sure with each decision that you discuss, you address the effect of that decision on the main character and others.
Ask the students how different decisions that were made could have affected the outcome of the historical events that they are studying. When you are finished, post the chart in the classroom.