"A Common African Food: Fou-Fou"


Author: Trecia Olson

Grade Level: Early Elementary


1. The students will identify fou-fou as a common dish from Africa.

2. The students will try fou-fou using a traditional African form of eating.

Materials: water, salt, cornmeal, pan, hot plate or stove, spoon, butter, large pot, soap


1. Hold up a fork and ask the students what we use this for. We use silverware to eat foods. Ask questions to get the class thinking about other methods of eating.

a) What are some other objects people eat with?


Africa- they sometimes eat with their fingers

2. Explain that a common African dish is called fou-fou. It is a starchy food that is made, scooped up with three fingers from a pot, and eaten. It is made from different staple foods around the continent. Discuss millet, yams, cassava, etc. as staple foods also used to make fou-fou. (See Content Information.)

3. We also use corn, rice, yams and similar foods here. What are some ways we eat these foods?

-corn on the cob

-yams at Thanksgiving

-rice with butter or in casseroles

4. Under the teachers direction the class will prepare fou-fou. Instruct the children to wash their hands with soap and water. In a pan:

Boil 2 cups water

Add l tsp. salt

and 1 cup cornmeal

Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. (You may add butter for taste.)

5. Let the students eat the African dish in a traditional African form of eating. Put the mixture in a large pot. Have the students sit around the pot on the floor. They may scoop up some fou-fou out of the pot with their three fingers. Before dipping back in the pot, students should wash their hands again. They must dip directly back in the pot in front of them.

6. Have the students clean up the activity by washing the dishes.

7. Have them draw a picture of their experience eating an African food and label the common African staple food.


1. Look at each student's picture to see if they correctly identified fou-fou as a common dish from Africa.

2. Observe the students for participation in trying the fou-fou using a traditional African form of eating.

Reference: Allen, Judy, Earldene McNeill, and Velma Schmidt. Cultural Awareness for Children. Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., 1997. ISBN: 0201287315.

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