Two Very Different Sisters
Reading Comprehension Activity

Ella and Madison are twins but they are very different. Ella wants to spend the morning styling hair and Madison wants to spend it with her horse. Will they ever agree on how to spend their morning?

Topic(s): Realistic Fiction. Skill(s): Context Clues. Genre(s): Prose

Click for the passage & questions on one printable PDF.


Twin sisters Ella and Madison were in the bedroom on a sunny Saturday morning. The girls both had long blonde hair and brown eyes. Ella’s hair hung down her back in a neat braid with a pretty yellow ribbon on the end. Madison’s hair was a bit of a mess and looked as if she had just got out of the bed, even though she’d been up for over an hour.

“Let me braid your hair,” Ella said to her sister.

“No!” Madison replied.

“Come on!”



“Never! I’m going out to the barn to brush Star.” Madison pulled on her cowboy boots.

“Your horse can wait. Let me braid your hair first. It’s a mess!”

“Nope. I’m going to the barn.” Madison walked out of the room.

Ella frowned and looked down at the ribbon and hair ties in her lap. She just learned how to braid hair and really wanted to braid Madison’s long hair.

She picked up the ribbons and hair ties and stuffed them into her yellow purse. Yellow was her favorite color. She went down the stairs and into the kitchen where Mom was cooking bacon. It smelled so good!

“Good morning!” Mom said as Ella walked into the kitchen and sat down at the table near the window. 

“Good morning,” Ella said as she placed her purse on the table with a frown.

“Why so sad?” Mom asked.

“Madison won’t let me braid her hair.”

“That shouldn’t surprise you. You know she doesn’t care about her hair. She just wants to go outside and spend time with her horse.”

“Well, that’s silly. We are eight years old! We shouldn’t be walking around with messy hair like little kids.”

Mom laughed. “I don’t think age has anything to do with it. Even though you are twins, your sister likes different things than you. You like fashion and she likes horses. That might not ever change. It is just who you are. You can braid my hair after breakfast if you want to.”

“Your hair is too short. That won’t be any fun at all. Madison didn’t even brush her hair this morning before going outside!”

“I know. I could tell. Now she’s in the barn and brushing her horse. That horse’s hair probably looks better than hers!”

Ella smiled, stood, and quickly grabbed her purse from the table. “I have an idea! I’m going to the barn!”

“Breakfast will be ready in about twenty minutes. Listen for the bell,” Mom said as Ella walked out the door.

As she walked onto the porch, Ella looked at the big bell Mom always rang when meals were ready. It was an old and heavy bell and it hung from a sturdy rope. Inside the bell was a long piece of metal that hung down. Mom said that piece of metal is called a clapper. When you bump the clapper against the sides of the bell, it makes the bell ring. Ella loved the sound it made. It always made her happy to hear the bell ring.

The walk to the barn was always nice because Mom planted flowers on both sides of the path all the way to the barn. It was always fun to see what was blooming. Today, many different colors of daylilies were blooming. Ella was greeted by a variety of yellows, oranges, and reds. It was early in the day, so many of their blooms were not fully open. By the end of the day all of the daylilies would be fully open and by night time they would start to close again. By the next morning, new daylilies would be blooming. Ella liked that each daylily bloom only lasted one day. It made them extra special. 

Ella walked into the barn where Madison was brushing her horse, Star. Star was a brown horse with a black mane and tail. He was very pretty. 

Madison brushed his long black legs. “Look how shiny his legs are. Isn’t he pretty?” 

“Yes. I like that patch of white on his forehead.”

“That’s called a star, not a patch.”

“Oh! So, that’s where you got his name?”


“He is really pretty. But he could be even prettier,” Ella said. She opened her purse and pulled out a long blue ribbon. I could braid his hair.”

Madison stopped brushing Star’s legs and turned toward her sister. 


“Yes! I would love to!”

Madison thought for a moment. “I have seen horses with braids in their hair. Sometimes people do that. I guess we could give it a try. Okay, let’s do it!”

“Yes! This is going to be even better than braiding your hair!”

“Good. Because you’re not touching my hair.”

“I know! I know! Now, what color of ribbons should we use,” Ella asked with a very happy smile on her face.

Comprehension Questions

Get the passage & questions on one printable PDF.

Interactive Banner 2

Enter description text here.