Understanding weeds: investigation
Category: Biodiversity
Climate Region: Arid | Temperate | Tropical
State or Territory: ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA
Age Range: 7-13


Suyin and Tom decided to take Grace to the park to show Grace that some of the pretty flowers that grow in the park are actually weeds. Suyin and Tom were both learning a lot from attending Weed Warriors with Tom’s Dad and they were keen to share their knowledge. Using a Weed Warriors reference sheet, Suyin and Tom decided to print images of the most common weeds in their area to help Grace identify them.

“It is important to be very observant, Grace. We already told you that dandelions are weeds and that we must remember not to blow their seeds. To help us identify other weeds, we would need to look at their flowers, colour, plant shape, leaf forms and and if we can see seeds. “ Grace could not believe she was seeing a lot of the flowers and plants that were in the reference sheet. Are these pretty flowers really bad for the environment?


In this activity we will be looking for weeds in your local park, backyard and surrounds. Build your knowledge and weed investigation skills as you explore your local environment and examine the presence of weeds. Using online resources, field guides and expert local knowledge, you will be looking at and identifying weeds in three different locations in your setting and discussing the issues that they may cause.

This learning activity is the first part of a sequence of 2 individual learning activities focused on understanding weeds. The order of these learning activities are: life cycle and investigation.


For children to:

  • understand what weeds they have in their local area
  • look at plants and determine if they are weeds or not 
  • appreciate how quickly weeds can become a problem 
  • value a weed-free environment, rich in native plant and animal biodiversity 
  • appreciate and value the work of local weed experts, Landcarers  and Indigenous knowledge.

Spring is a perfect time for looking for weeds, due to warmer and wetter weather conditions. As a consequence, it is good time for implementing weed control measures.

Did you know?

You can identify weeds by looking at their characteristics, such as size, shape, number of petals, leaf size and shape, flower colour, or location.

Did you know?

Many weeds can regrow stronger and faster when they are pulled out from the ground if their root system gets left behind. Always make sure you use a pick axe or shovel to take out all of the roots.

Did you know?

Using living organisms, such as insects, bacteria or fungi can help reducing weed populations, this is called Biological Control.

Did you know?

Australia has 32 WoNS, Weeds of National Significance, these are Australia’s most invasive plants that have proven social, economic and environmental impacts.

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Why not try one of our other Junior Landcare learning activities?

Building a nest box


Understanding weeds: life cycle


Creating a wildlife habitat: research


Creating a wildlife habitat: vision