Course Level
Knowledge Unit
Fundamental Data Structures
Collection Item Type

In this lab, students dissect a working implementation of the Beetle (Cootie) game using process oriented guided inquiry learning (POGIL). Learning objectives include understanding class anatomy, using objects, and problem solving. This lab allows students to read an existing program rather than creating one from scratch.

The author of this material was awarded a 2017 NCWIT Engagement Excellence Award for this and two other of his POGIL assignments. Learn more about the award at


Teams of 3-4 students work well in this lab. Students should be assigned roles such as manager, recorder, presenter, and analyst. Prior exposure to static methods is recommended.

Additional recommendations include:

  • To quickly examine this activity, see the PDF posted below. This is the instruction sheet that the students will work through.
  • To look more deeply or modify the assignment for your own use, get the latest version of the PDF, Java code, and any other files here:
  • To quickly install and run this activity, as well as all of the other Learn Java in N Games activities, follow the instructions here:
  • See and for more information on running POGIL activities.
Engagement Highlights

This lab employs relevant and meaningful content by using a common dice game, Beetle. The game-based nature of this lab is appealing and welcoming to many students. Additionally, this POGIL lab demonstrates an example of a well-structured collaborative learning experience and has significant benefits for engagement and inclusion.

Computer Science Details

Programming Language

Material Format and Licensing Information

Creative Commons License