Use dice to introduce instantiable classes in Java because it’s easier for novice students to create classes based on a familiar object.

  • Create a Die class with one of its instance variables representing the number of sides the die object has.
  • Use the following example code to show students how to set instance variables:
    • public class Die {
        private int numSides; public void setSides(int sides) {
          numSides = sides;
      } public static void main(String[] args) {
        Die die1 = new Die(); int x = 6; die1.setSides(x);
  • Note from CS Teaching Tips Team: To extend this analogy, have students create a method roll that returns the result of one roll of the die.

More about this tip

External Source
Interview with Dave Musicant.