LEARNING ACTIVITY
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

STORY

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.

ACTIVITY OVERVIEW

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.

Outcomes

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.
SEASONAL NOTES

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?

Weeds can alter or destroy the habitat for native fauna. Blackberry forms a dense covering over the forest floor, preventing lyrebirds from accessing the ground beneath for food, whilst encouraging pests like rabbits.

Did you know?

Landcare groups throughout Australia work to eradicate weed infested sites and help to transform them into havens of local indigenous flora and fauna. This helps to improve and restore habitat biodiversity.

Did you know?

Professionals that can identify and manage weeds are called weed experts. Local weed experts can be found working for local Councils or State/Territory government agencies. They can also be members of local community environment or agriculture groups.

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?

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Understanding weeds: investigation

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Creating a wildlife habitat: research

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Creating a wildlife habitat: vision

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