Box #1: Culture in Migration

Teaching Units & Lesson Plans

Food: Culture and food


Students will explore the connection between manners of eating and culture. Students will explore the idea that a social agreement, rather than a “right” or “wrong” way of doing things, constructs manners and culture. Students will come to understand that culture, such as eating habits/manners travel with individuals as they migrate.

Time: 60-80 min


  • Senegalese Eating Mat and *sheets
  • Senegalese Eating Bowl and *baking bowls
  • *Sarongs for girls to wear as long skirts
  • *Vegetables and Rice or Ceeb U Jen (che-boo-gen) (recipe attached)
  • My Culture and Food” work page
  • *Home made Senegalese Hand washing bowl (large bowl, soap, and a water kettle)


    Hand Sanitizer

*indicates materials not included in the artifact box


To activate prior knowledge ask students:

What are good manners when eating?

What are some eating do’s at your home?

What are some eating don’ts at your home?

Where do you eat? How?

  1. Show students where Senegal is located on the map of Africa if they have not yet seen it.
  2. Review the “Senegalese Eating Around the Bowl” page as a group. Encourage students to think of these eating styles as different as opposed to wrong.
  3. Put students in groups of 4-5 students.
  4. Have two volunteers assist students in using the hand washing bowl if you have one, otherwise use hand sanitzer.
  5. Ask groups to sit in a circle on the mat/blanket.Remind students to take off shoes and girls to have on modest dress
  6. Once all groups have been seated place bowls before them. They should not eat until the host (you) give them permission.
  7. Remind them of the do’s and don’ts briefly and invite them to eat.
  8. When students are complete invite them to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer and a towel, and return to their seats to work on their “My Culture and Food” workpage.
  9. After everyone is complete hold a class meeting. Some example questions are below:
    • Did eating around the bowl feel different than how you typically eat meals?
    • How did eating around the bowl make you feel?
    • Did you feel comfortable?
    • Was it difficult to remember your Senegalese manners?
    • How do you think people from different cultural backgrounds feel when they migrate and have to use our eating manners?

Ceeb U Jen Recipe

(this is a loose reproduction)

  • Tomato paste
  • Garlic (ground)
  • Onion (ground)
  • Fish or Chicken (optional)
  • Assorted vegetables(carrot, potato, etc.)
  • Rice