CT-N Civics Toolbox Logo CT-N Toolbox: Campaign Finance Unit

This unit is designed to help teachers explain the workings of federal, state and local state political institutions and processes to middle school and high school students. The program's generic format is designed for teachers to borrow, amend, edit, and enlarge, as they deem necessary, for their classrooms. With adaptations and modifications the activities are appropriate for use in Middle School 7th and 8th grade Social Studies and American History courses and for High School Civics and United States History at all levels.


Election Simulation Game
In this simulation game students take roles as candidates, campaign staff, legislators, lobbyists, and voters to construct a working understanding of the importance of political and economic activism in a republican form of government.

Voting Chain Activity
A short introduction into campaign finance that visually demonstrates the importance and power of each vote in an election.


Connecticut Legislature Viewing Activity
In the wake of the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Connecticut General Assembly sought to modify existing law in order to comply with the Citizens United mandates which relaxed corporate restrictions on contributions and added new accountability. HB 5556 included changes affecting, the Citizens' Election Program (CEP), the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC), and certain nominating and absentee voting procedures. The following activity uses video of abridged debate from the 2012 Connecticut General Assembly Senate session to place your students in the center of the issue.
  • Activity
  • Office of Legislative Research Bill Summary pdf
  • CT-N Legislative Video HB 5556 watch it now: mp4

Mock Press Conference
Student groups participate in a simulated press conference presenting their position on campaign finance and respond to questions. This lesson offers students the opportunity to examine opposing viewpoints, analyze material, and develop solutions to a complicated issue.

The Election of 1896
The 1896 presidential election was one of the most exciting and complicated in U.S. history. Coined the "Gilded" age, there was a large economic and political divide that surrounded the election giving way to various political factions. In this lesson students will analyze political parties, construct the platforms, and apply historical concepts to today.


Campaign Finance Reform Timeline  word | pdf

Connecticut Senatorial Districts Map  pdf

Campaign Finance Glossary  word | pdf

Sources for Consultation  word | pdf


The CT-N Campaign Finance Unit was developed and edited by:
Victor W. Geraci, Ph.D. and Paul Petterson, Ph.D.