Jabari Jumps: Overview and Description
This story is about a young boy who goes to the swimming pool with his father and wants to jump from the high diving board but is afraid to do so. With self reassurances and encouragement from his dad, Jabari eventually overcomes his fear and not only climbs up the ladder but jumps off the board into the water, feeling the success and joy that results from persevering and conquering one’s fears.
Math Practice (Perseverance)
As Jabari bravely works toward jumping off the high dive, young children can see what it looks like for a character to stick with something, even when they may be scared. Jabari models – and allows us to discuss – perseverance. We can make connections between the ways Jabari is brave with something new and the way mathematicians must be brave with new ideas. Mathematicians – like Jabari – stick with problems, even when they are challenging. We can support young mathematicians to know that the feeling of struggle can be exciting and exhausting!
Even though this book is not an overtly mathematical story, there are many opportunities to discuss and learn mathematical content. Children may notice and count how many children are in line at the diving board OR how many rungs on the ladder. They may be curious to know how high is the diving board and wonder about the relationship between the height of the board and the depth of Jabari’s plunge into the deep end of the pool!
Read Alouds: Let’s Read Together
Try one (or all) of the three read alouds provided below.