Ebony s day out illustration

Words: 301-400

Skills: Context Clues

Grades: K 1st

Topics: Realistic Fiction

Genres: Prose

Lexile Range:

Lexile Measure:

CCSS: Reading: Literature


Ebony's Day Out

by Elizabeth Trach

Ebony is a small black horse. She spends most days in the corral while her mother gives rides to the local children. When Ebony sees that the gate is left open one morning, she decides to have an adventure of her own. Students will read the passage and answer follow-up questions about character and other story elements. This reading passage also includes Dolch Sight Words from the Pre-Primer and Primer lists.

Reading Comprehension Passage

Ebony's Day Out

by Elizabeth Trach
Ebony was a small, black horse. She was the youngest horse on her farm. When children would visit the farm, Ebony's mother let them sit on her back and ride around the corral. The corral was an open space with a fence that formed a big ring around all the horses. The farm horses could run or walk around the corral to get exercise.

Ebony's mother was the only horse that ever had riders in the corral. The children loved her. She was very gentle and walked slowly so they wouldn't fall off. Giving rides was her job. 

While Ebony's mother was working, Ebony was free to run around the corral as much as she wanted. She usually started her day by eating a breakfast of oats. Then she ran around the corral fence to stretch her legs. She always began at the gate and ran around the circle three times. When she got tired, she walked back to the gate.

One morning, the gate was open. This had never happened before. Ebony looked for her mother, but she was busy. A child just climbed on her back for a ride.

Ebony looked at the open gate. She stepped past the fence and into the meadow. She had never been in the meadow by herself before.

Ebony put her nose down in the grass and took a deep breath. A yellow butterfly fluttered nearby. Ebony sniffed at it. The butterfly tickled Ebony's nose with its soft wings. Ebony sneezed.

The loud sound scared the butterfly. It flitted away across the grass. Ebony followed it. They zig-zagged across the meadow until Ebony was too tired to go any further. She looked up, but she could not see the gate.

Ebony felt scared. The corral was gone. All she could see was the grassy field in every direction. She began to cry.

"There you are, Ebony! How did you get out?" Kind Mr. MacDonald patted Ebony's neck. Ebony whinnied. She was very glad to see the farmer. 

Mr. MacDonald held the hair of Ebony's mane in his hands. "Let's go home," he said. And he tugged very gently to show Ebony which way to go. Ebony followed.

Mr. MacDonald patted Ebony again. "Don't worry. We'll get back before your mother even knows you were gone. I won't tell." He winked at Ebony. Ebony was very happy to be heading home. 

Passage Only

Reading Comprehension Questions

1. According to the story, what is a corral?

2. What is Ebony's mother's job?

3. How does Ebony feel when she can't see the corral?

4. Do you think Ebony should have stayed inside the corral? Why or why not?

Sight Words

This passage includes words that students should learn to recognize on sight. We've highlighted 12 of these words below, from the Dolch sight word list for Pre-K through 1st, 2nd and/or 3rd grade. Tip: Read through the passage once with your student. Read the passage a second time, but pause on the sight word and ask your student to say the word.

Sight Word List

  1. away
  2. look
  3. run
  4. see
  5. three
  6. up
  7. black
  8. eat
  9. ride
  10. say
  11. back
  12. farmer

Flash Cards

Print and cut-out the flash cards below. Show each sight word to your student and ask them to say the word.