Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

A Peace of the Pie

Causes and Effects of the Congress of Vienna

Kim Press, Laura Halstied | Published: June 24th, 2022 by K20 Center

  • Grade Level Grade Level
  • Subject Subject Social Studies
  • Course Course World History
  • Time Frame Time Frame 90 minutes
  • Duration More 2 Periods


This lesson introduces students to the impact of the Congress of Vienna. This lesson is meant to be taught after the French Revolution and Napoleon content has been introduced to students. Using hands-on activities, discussions, and research, students explore the individuals who helped shape the Congress of Vienna and its effects.

Essential Question(s)

Is peace possible after a major conflict? Can countries have a balance of power after war?



Students draw upon previous knowledge of what led up to the Congress of Vienna.


Students are introducedto key players and events of the Congress of Vienna.


Students read and summarize an article to facilitate understanding of the causes and effects of the Congress of Vienna.


Students participate in a Historical Mingle as the major actors at the Congress of Vienna.


Students complete a CER to demonstrate understanding.


  • Lesson Slides (attached)

  • I Think, We Think and SIT handout (attached; one per student)

  • Congress of Vienna Article handout (attached; one per student)

  • Historical Mingle Activity Cards (attached)

  • Historical Mingle Graphic Organizer (attached; one per student)

  • Claim, Evidence, Reasoning handout (attached; one per student)

  • Student devices with Internet access

  • Pencils

  • Paper


10 Minute(s)

Use the attached Lesson Slides to guide the lesson.

Begin with slide 2. Introduce the Congress of Vienna, its causes, and effects. Review slides 3-4to introduce students to the essential questions and learning objective.

Display slide 5. Share instructional strategy, I Think/We Think. Students will draw on previous knowledge of the French Revolution and Napoleon to explore the question: How did Europe respond to the French Revolution and Napoleon?

Have students create a T-chart with a sheet of paper labeling the left-hand column "I Think" and the right-hand column "We Think" or pass out the attached I Think/We Think and S-I-T handout.

Share the prompt with the students: How did Europe respond to the French Revolution and Napoleon? Ask students to individually record their answers in the "I Think" column. Once they have written their responses, ask them to turn to their Elbow Partner to share what they wrote. Once they have shared their responses, ask them to fill in their thoughts in the "We Think" column.


15 Minute(s)

Display slide 6.

Introduce the S-I-T strategy to students. Tell students to look for one Surprising fact or idea, one Interesting fact or idea, and one Troubling fact or idea as they watch the video on slide 6. Students should use the S-I-T portion of the I Think/We Think and S-I-T handout to add their video reflection responses.

After playing the video and providing time to complete the S-I-T handout, ask students to share their responses with an Elbow Partner. Ask for volunteers to share their responses to the class.


20 Minute(s)

Display slide 7. Pass out the attached Congress of Vienna Article and review the Stop and Jot strategy. While reading, have students use Stop and Jot strategy by reading the left side and stopping to answer the questions on the right side of the handout.

When students have completed their notetaking, have them discuss their responses to the questions with their Elbow Partner, followed by partners' sharing to the whole class.


30 Minute(s)

Next have students participate in an Historical Mingle. Display slide 8 to review the strategy. Place students in groups of 4. Assign each group member to be a representative who attended the Congress of Vienna. Each group will have a representative from Great Britain, France, Austria, and Russia.

Provide students a Historical Mingle Card that contains information about their assigned individual. Pass out the Historical Mingle Graphic Organizer for each individual student to complete as they mingle with each of the Congress attendees.

  • Have students introduce themselves in their assumed role.

  • Allow time for the students to read through and become familiar with their Congress of Vienna representative.

  • When students have become "experts," ask them to mingle with their group where they will share information about the person whom they are representing.

  • After students have had time to mingle with each other and complete their graphic organizers, ask them to discuss what they have learned about each individual in a whole class discussion.


25 Minute(s)

Pass out the attached Claim, Evidence, Reasoning handout. Display slide 9. Introduce students to the Claim-Evidence-Reasoning strategy. Assign students to read the two questions and select one to respond to in a Claim-Evidence-Reasoning (CER) format.

  • Question #1: Is Peace Possible after the French Revolution and the reign of Napoleon?

  • Question #2: Can Europe have a balance of power after the French Revolution and the reign of Napoleon?

Using their chosen question, ask students to write a Claim that answers the question (typically one sentence). Next, using research, have students provide Evidence that supports their claim. Finally, have students write their Reasoning, which explains why they chose their specific evidence and how gives an explanation into why they chose their evidence, and thus supports their claim (typically a few sentences).