Understanding weeds: life cycle
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 Suyin’s little cousin Grace to the park when she came over to visit. Suyin saw that Grace loved to pick the dandelions from the ground and blow their little feathery tipped seeds while she made a wish. In as much as Suyin loved watching Grace make her wishes, Suyin had to ask Grace to stop what she was doing.

“Gracey, we mustn’t do that! When we blow the seeds of the dandelion, we are helping them spread and grow into places that they don’t belong. Did you know that the dandelions we find in our garden and parks are actually weeds? Weeds are plants that grow in places they aren’t wanted and can be harmful to our environment.” Suyin and Tom decided to show Grace how to bag the dandelion seeds to stop it from spreading, this would help native plants to grow instead.


Weeds compete with native plants in our natural environments, and can dominate both natural ecosystems and areas of agricultural production. This competition limits biodiversity, as well as the economic potential for farmers. This activity will look closely at three different weed forms and children will learn about their reproductive life cycles.

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:

  • learn about weed features and compare with other plants
  • undertake research about garden, bushland and agricultural weeds
  • investigate weed plants and describe its form and dispersal mechanism
  • value weed removal as important in maintaining biodiversity and agricultural productivity.

This activity can be undertaken any time of the year, however different plant parts of weeds develop depending on the season and their maturity. Identifying a weed’s life cycle stage will help determine its appropriate method of eradication.

Did you know?

A weed is a plant that grows where it isn’t wanted, causing harm to natural landscapes, agricultural landscpaes, waterways and coastal areas.

Did you know?

Weeds normally grow and spread faster than native plants and crops, and take over by out-competing them for light, water, space and nutrients.

Did you know?

A weed can be an exotic or native species. It grows somewhere it didn’t previously exist.

Did you know?

A weed is a plant that grows where it isn’t wanted, causing harm to natural landscapes, agricultural landscpaes, waterways and coastal areas.

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

Creating a butterfly garden


Love Letters to the Land

Biodiversity|First Nations Perspectives|Food Production|Waste Management

Creating a sensory garden


Understanding weeds: investigation