Better Not Get Wet Jesse Bear, by Nancy White Carlstrom

Jesse Bear wants to get wet.  But where can he find the best place to play in the water?  Jesse searches the house for sources of water.


  • Several sponges, Bucket of water, Piece of chalk
  • Eye droppers,food coloring, white coffee filters
  • Blocks of ice, freeze in Tupperware of various sizes and shapes
  • Beach props; towels, sunscreen, sunglasses, floppy hat


Before Reading the Story

            Begin a discussion about summer and how to stay cool. Ask the children if they can think of ways that they stay cool and write their responses (I wear shorts, I eat popsicles, I play in the sprinkler).  Talk to the children about how it is unsafe to play in or near water without a parent present.  Introduce the book and explain to the children that Jesse Bear wants to play in the water but he knows he is not supposed to.  Do you think he will follow the rule?  Tell the children that they can help remind Jesse Bear by saying; “You better not get wet Jesse Bear”!  Have them practice several times and then while you read the story they can help remind Jesse Bear

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety, and responding appropriately to harmful objects, substances, and activities.

Reading the Story 

Make sure to read the book rhythmically so the children can hear it as a poem.  Cue them when it is their turn to remind Jesse Bear, to better not get wet. 

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Appreciation; shows growing interest and involvement in listening to and discussing  a variety of fiction and non-fiction and poetry. 

When reading the story and a color is named, put the color up on a flannel board for the children to see.  For children who have experience with colors, let the children put the colors up on the flannel board.

Language Development/Listening & Understanding; understands an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary. AND Social & Emotional Development/Cooperation; develops increasing abilities to give and take in interactions; to take turns in games and using materials; and to interact without being overly submissive or directive.

After Reading the Story

Jesse Bear had to follow rules about not getting wet. Talk to the children about school rules. What are some of the school rules? Why do you think we have school rules? What might happen if people did not follow school rules? 

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety, and responding appropriately to harmful objects, substances, and activities.  AND Social & Emotional Development/Self-Control; develops growing understanding of how their actions affect others and begins to accept the consequences of their actions.


Put out ice blocks in waterproof containers. Put one ice block outside in a sunny spot, one outside in a shady spot, and one inside. Have the children observe the ice. What happens to it as it starts to melt? Which one melts fastest?  What does ice turn into?

Science/Science Knowledge; develops growing awareness of ideas and language related to attributes of time and temperature.

Music and Movement

Act out Swimming as you sing or chant.

Swimming, swimming in the swimming hole
Days are hot and days are cold in the swimming hole
Breaststroke,sidestroke, fancy diving too
Don’t you wish you had nothing else to do?

Creative Arts/Music; participates with increasing interest and enjoyment in a variety of music activities, including listening, singing, finger plays, games, and performances.


Build a swimming pool.  Challenge the children to build a pool in the shape of a circle, a triangle, a square, and a rectangle. 

Mathematics/ Geometry & Spatial Sense; progresses in ability to put together and take apart shapes.


Give the children cups or ice cube trays filled with water and food coloring.  Give each child an eyedropper and show him how to suck the water and then drop it onto a white paper towel or a white coffee filter.  Watch the colors bleed/spread out. 

Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; develops growing strength, dexterity, and control needed to use tools such as scissors, paper punch, stapler. and hammer. 

Library and Writing

Ask the children to draw a picture of one of the activities that Jesse Bear was doing in the story.  Write their dictation/response to their illustration on the bottom of the picture.  These can later be put into a classbook. 

Literacy/Book Knowledge & Skills;demonstrates progress in abilities to retell and dictate stories from books and experiences; to  act out stories in dramatic play; and to predict what will happen next in a story.  AND Literacy/Early Writing; begins to represent stories and experiences through pictures, dictation, and in play.

Sand and Water

Fill the table with water today and put out objects that float and objects that sink.  As the children experiment with the objects that float or sink, repeat the following poem.

Splish, splash, splish, splash
Put in the pool for me
Something that you think can float/hold water/sink
Before I count to three.

Science/Scientific Skills & Knowledge; develops increased abilities to observe and discuss common properties, differences and comparisons among objects.  AND Science/Scientific Skills and Methods; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships.

Dramatic Play

Bring in beach props; towels, empty suntan lotion bottle, sunglasses, radio. 

Creative Arts/Dramatic PLay; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended and complex.  AND Approaches to Learning/Initiative & Curiosity; approaches tasks and activities  with increased flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness.

Math and Manipulatives

Ask the children to recall the animals in the story and to count how many there were. 

Mathematics/Numbers & Operations; demonstrates increasing interest and awareness if numbers and counting as a means for solving problems and determining quantity.  

Outdoor Play

Tell the children that today you are going to play a game called Splat.  Draw a circle, a triangle, a square, and a rectangle on the sidewalk with chalk. Make them fairly large.  Now make a line about 6 feet away.  Show the children how to dip the sponge into a bucket of water and then take it out and throw it onto a shape.  If necessary, move the line back.  You can also call out the shape that you want them to throw the sponge into.  Or you can toss sponges into the water table. 

Physical Health & Development/Gross Motor Skills; demonstrates increasing abilities to coordinate movements in throwing, catching, kicking, bouncing balls, and using the slide and swing.


Have the children name a school rule or tell you about a rule from home. (We walk inside, Friends are for helping and not for hurting, I can’t go in the street by my house, I have to eat my vegetables or my Mom gets mad at me). 

Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety, and responding appropriately to harmful objects, substances, and activities. 

Dear Parent-

A child can drown in as little as 3-inches of water.  Please make sure to take time to talk to your child about water and pool safety.  Let them know that they may never play in  water without an adult present. 

About Kerry CI am an Early Childhood Educator who has seen daily the value of shared book readings with my preschoolers. I use the book theme in my centers and can daily touch upon a variety of Early Childhood Domains which makes assessing the children easy and individualized.