Has your teacher ever asked you to answer a question about something you've read   

 

      

Maybe you were reading in your Social Studies book or your Science book. 
When you answer questions like these,
you want to be sure to include only
  relevant information.

 

           What is

 Relevant 
   Information
?


  
Relevant information ...

     ...is information that is
      on topic
.  ( answers the question)

    Irrelevant information ...

     ...is information that is
        not on topic.
 (doesn't answer the
                                                     question)

 

             
        
Your job is to look at each piece of
        information in the passage and ask yourself...

        Does this piece of information help me answer
        the question?

 

                                                                              

                                                                          


   
Let's look at a sample question.

      How did the people of the Eastern Woodlands get food?

   Now read the following passage to get information to help
   you answer the question.

 

 

          The Eastern Woodlands was an area of wooded land east of the
 Mississippi River.  It was covered with thick forests.  The people who lived
 there used the resources found in the woodlands for food and shelter.

         Because of the abundance of trees available, they built their homes
 from trees.  The homes that they built were called longhouses.  A
 longhouse could be 200 feet long and 36 feet wide.  The longhouse had a
 wooden frame and was covered with sheets of bark.

        The people of the Eastern Woodlands also used the forest's resources
 for food.  Men and boys used bows and arrows to hunt for small game. 
 They also set traps for bear, deer, rabbits, and other animals.  The women
 and girls planted seeds to grow crops such as corn, beans, and squash. 
 They referred to these 3 crops as the "Three Sisters".

 

    Let's make a chart to list the information given in the passage. 
   Then decide if the information is

relevant (on topic)

or
  
irrelevant (not on topic).

         Information  On Topic
     (answers         
   the question)
 Not On Topic                                   
 
(doesn't answer the                         
           question)
 The Eastern Woodland was East of the
 Mississippi River.
                         X
 The Eastern Woodlands was covered
 with forests.
          X            
 The people who lived there used the 
 resources for food and shelter.
          X  
 They built their homes from trees.               X
 A longhouse is 300 feet long and 36 feet
 wide.
              X
 Men and boys used bows and arrows to
 hunt for small game.
          X  
 They set traps for bear, deer, rabbits and
 other animals.
          X  
 The women and girls planted to seeds to
 grow crops such as corn, beans, and
 squash.
          X  


 
Now you can use the information that is on topic to
answer the question.
 


     Your answer should look like this:

 The people of the Eastern Woodlands got their food by using the
 resources around them.  The Eastern Woodlands were covered with
 forests.  These forests were filled with many animals that these people
 could use for food.  The men and boys used bows and arrows to hunt
 for animals.  They also set traps for bear, deer, rabbits and other
 animals. They used these animals for food.  In addition to this, the
 women and girls planted seeds to grow crops such as corn, beans, and
 squash.

 

To practice choosing information that is relevant,
click on the flower.

Copyright 2001-2011  Oswego City School District
 Elementary Test Prep Center

Studyzone.org