Project this Current Worldwide Annual Meat Consumption per capita map or if that is not possible, show a printed version, preferably in color. Don't scroll over anything or provide country names, yet.
Ask students to write down three observations about the map and encourage precision of language. Even in something as open-ended as this, it's important to support and encourage precise mathematical language. A particular aspect of language that could be worked on in this lesson are the words "less" and "more". They should not be used in isolation. For example, "I see that there is less red," is mathematically and grammatically incorrect because less is a comparative could be extended to, "I see that dark red and red are the least common colors on the map." or "I see that only 3 countries on the map are dark red."
The core math skill in this problem is writing and solving meaningful word problems based on real-world data. A core overarching skill is the ability to recognize that one must be very careful about drawing conclusions from a data set without first asking and answering the meaningful questions.
I guide students through the process they will replicate independently. We look up 4 different countries and find the amount of meat the average person consumes in a day. Then we write questions based on the data.
Students work independently or with a partner to write word problems. I encourage students to explain their question choices. I also confer with them about writing quantitative questions for further research.
For example, in the guided practice students determined that the difference in per capita meat consumption in Peru and the Central African Republic are relatively similar. A quantitative question might be: How many different types of meat do they eat in the Central African Republic compared to Peru? or How much money does the average person make a a month in Peru compared to the Central African Republic?
Students are assigned a random partner (this is a time when I use a program like Class Dojo's randomizer OR pull popsicle sticks with names written on them) and they each ask and answer one of each other's questions.