Beyond the Book: Jabari Jumps

Book: Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall


Have you ever been nervous to do something? That’s exactly how Jabari feels when he looks up at the diving board. Jabari has completed swim lessons and he admires all of the big kids who are able to jump off the diving board. His dad provides the encouragement needed for Jabari to finally take his big leap.


Age Range:

2 – 7 years


Pre-reading activity:

Discuss the cover of the book and whether your child has ever been to a pool. Ask how your child would feel their first time standing on a diving board.


During the story:

Have your little one predict what will happen next based on the pictures and comment on the illustrations. Ask questions throughout the story to help your child comprehend what’s being read. Provide definitions and connections for any of the target vocabulary words listed below that may be unfamiliar. For a some movement while reading, pretend to stretch just like Jabari.


Why did Jabari let the other kids in line go ahead of him?

Does it look like all of the children are having fun at the pool?

What did Jabari’s father say to encourage him?

Do you ever feel scared when you have to try something new?

Why was Jabari’s dad so proud of him at the end?


Target vocabulary

a board above a pool that can be used to jump into the water
to suddenly move/jump forward or upward
past tense of dive; to jump into water with your arms and head going in first

different from what is normal or usual

something used for climbing

to put your arms or legs in positions that make the muscles long and tight

something unexpected

air that is inhaled and exhaled

the line or part where an object begins or ends



Discuss a time when you felt anxious or nervous? What helped to make you feel more comfortable?



Will It Float or Not?

When Jabari dove off the board, he made a big splash as he went down deep into the water. Then, he rose back to the top. Have your child predict whether familiar items will float in the water or sink to the bottom. Discuss what the items that float and those that sink have in common.



Clear bin

2 baskets (1 labeled “Floats”, 1 labeled “Sinks”)

Variety of household items that are both hard, soft, light, and heavy (e.g., feather, apple, spoon, stuffed animal, doll, lego, bowl, hair brush, etc.)


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2 Responses

  1. Anesha

    This is so good! I love the simplicity of the carryover activity and the definitions right at my fingertips. Can’t wait to see what book is featured next! I’ll have to check my library for this one!

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