ZONES of Regulation
A Curriculum Designed To Foster
Self-Regulation & Emotional Control
What are the Zones?
• Exploring the Traffic Signs and the Zone
• There are 4 Zones to Describe how your brain
and body feel.
• When you’re in the blue zone, your body is
running slow, such as when you are tired, sick,
sad or bored.
• The Green Zone, like a green light, is when you
are “good to go.” If you are in the Green Zone,
you may feel happy, calm, and focused.
• The yellow zone describes when you start to
lose control, such as when you are frustrated,
overwhelmed, silly, wiggly, excited, worried,
anxious or surprised. It is a good idea to use
caution when you are in the yellow zone.
• The red zone is reserved for extreme emotions
like terror, uncontrolled anger, and aggression.
When you are in the Red Zone, you are out of
control, have trouble making good decisions,
and must STOP.
How does this apply to my class?
• Using a class list, highlight the typical zone
that each of your students is in.
Which ZONE is my class in?
Table talk – discuss which zone your
students are most often in and how
this impacts your teaching.
Lesson 1 – Two Ways - Primary
Identify emotions and which zone
they fit into as you read a story.
Lesson 1 – Two Ways - Intermediate
Play a game – emotion charades.
Students demonstrate the emotion for the class
then glue the emotion on the correct zone.
• Lessons 2-9 provide different ways for students to
practice identifying their emotions and which
zone they are in.
• Emphasize that all zones are appropriate in
specific circumstances, but that the GREEN ZONE
is the optimal learning zone and the best place to
be for most school activities.
• Moving from identifying zones, to identifying
when exhibiting emotions can be expected or
unexpected, to choosing to do things to move
from one zone to another.
Identifying Zones (Lesson 3)
• Helping students identify emotions in others
can help them be more aware of their own
emotions and that everyone experiences the
different zones. Before students can correctly
identify the zones in themselves, they must be
able to recognize the zones in others. (p. 54)
Identifying Zones (Lesson 3)
• What kind of thoughts do others have when
the character is in the Red Zone (good
thoughts or uncomfortable thoughts)?
• How do others react to the characters?
• Is the character able to interact with others as
successfully when he or she is in the Red or
Yellow Zone as when the character is in the
In the Classroom - Inquiry
• If we implement the Zones of Regulation program
in a Grade 2/3 classroom, teaching students to
self-regulate to be in an optimal learning zone,
will students spend more time on task and
actively engaged in learning? We will know there
has been a positive change because target
students will spend less time in transitions
between activities and spend more time actively
learning. Target students will demonstrate
increased completion of quality work and more
engagement in learning activities.
Linking to Other Programs
• Mind Up
Mind Up Focus on Self Awareness & Brain
Zones & Mind UP
• Zones Lesson 5 – Understanding Different
• Mind UP Lesson 10 – Perspective Taking
• Second Step – Empathy Lesson
• Reinforce lessons with books: Perspective
Book List For Perspective Taking
• *Mr. Peabody’s Apples, by Madonna
• *A Weekend With Wendell, Kevin Henkes
• *Herb, The Vegetarian Dragon, Jules Bass & Debbie Harter
• *The OK Book, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
• *ish – Peter Reynolds
• *The Dot Peter Reynolds (and art!)
• *It’s OK To Be Different, Todd Parr
• *I Am I, Marie, Louise Fitzpatrick
• *Whoever You Are, Mem Fox
• *Tough Boris, Mem Fox
• *Tiger, Tiger is it True, 4 Questions to Make You Smile Again, Byron Katie
• *All Dogs Have ADHD – Kathy Hoopmann
• *All Cats Have Aspergers – Kathy Hoopmann
• Hewitt Anderson’s Great Big Life, by Jerdine Nolen
• A Dogs Life, by AnnMartin
• Just Juice, Karen Hesse
• The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, Jon Scieszka
• A Walk in the Rain with A Brain – Edward M. Hallowell, MD
*Are available in the school library.
Moving ZONES – Getting to GREEN
• It Isn’t Easy Being Green…
Tools to Calm and Alert
Sensory Supports Calming Techniques Thinking Strategies
Dependent on sensory
supports and equipment
(See Tools Sheet).
•6 Sides of Breathing
•Lazy 8 Breathing
•Counting to Ten
•Learning to Take a Deep
•Big Vs. Little Problems
•Inner Coach Vs. Inner
•Superflex Vs. Rock Brain
ZONES Tools Worksheet
• On worksheet list the Sensory tools that you
have access to – or would LIKE to use.
• Circle the zone that you think this tool would
Making it Manageable
• Extra Preps – lessons started by
Mark, Anita & Claire
• Follow up in class – one lesson per
• Link to existing programs whenever
possible. (Second Step, Friends, Care)
• Identify emotions and zones during
read alouds/picture books and
• Add content to class meetings.
• CD of Blackline Masters – available in
Binder Format – THANKS, KAREN!!!
• 3 copies of Zones of Regulation
available in Library (see Susan, Claire
or Karen for early access!)
Student inquiry occurred when students had to choose images from magazines that fit
into each of the Zones. There was discussion, debate and many differences of opinion
about how people were feeling based on their facial and body expressions. We
learned that students need more time, practice and opportunities to discuss the cues
that they are reading from other people’s