SEL Read Aloud: Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari Jumps Book Cover


After a series of swimming lessons, Jabari goes to the swimming pool with his dad and sister and tells them he is finally ready to jump off the diving board. Walking towards the diving board and climbing the first rungs of the ladder, Jabari shows and voices hesitation. With support from his dad, he decides to take a tiny rest with some stretches and deep breaths. With his dad’s help, he reframes his fear as a surprise — something he loves. After a successful first splash, Jabari immediately returns to the top of the board to attempt a more ambitious jump.

Discussion Questions

  1. What do you think it meant when Jabari’s dad squeezed Jabari’s hand and he squeezed his back?
  2. What do you think Jabari’s dad meant when he said Jabari could take a tiny rest? Why might he reframe fear as exhaustion?
  3. When do you notice Jabari starting to feel nervous for the first time?
  4. What are the different ways people can show they’re uncomfortable in social situations?
  5. Jabari goes from not wanting to jump off the diving board to wanting to wanting to do a surprise double backflip within just a few minutes. Have you ever made a quick transition from not wanting to do something at all to doing lots of it or a more extreme version of it?

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The image on this page comes from the book Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall. Copyright © 2020 by Gaia Cornwall.