Merigold proposed using JSP.
I have had the same idea and am currently trying to figure out how to do it best.
the problem with teaching java to complete beginners and to procedural programmers is:
-they have to learn a new syntax (most don't come from c/c++)
-they have to learn what objects are
-they have to learn, at least some, of the Java classes
and all of that at the same time.
With JSP one can start off with just explaining the syntax at first (primitives, loops etc).
Next would be using some of the classes of the api.
Own classes would be last.
One has to face it, it is hard to grasp the principles of oop, probably it is impossible to fully understand it in a couple of days (mastering oop definitively takes years).
And if you are confronted with a completly new syntax at the same time, it makes it even harder.
So if your students have at least some practise with the syntax ( a day), it is easier to concentrate on oop.
Of course using JSP for larger production sites is problematic, but sciptlets are just the most simple way to write some java code. And with simple examples used for teaching there won't be any maintenance problems.
Well it may be a little problematic teaching people something and later telling them "don't use it this way for your real work"???
Another major benefit of JSP is that you get an easy user interface for your example programms (simple html forms).
Using swing or awt is much to difficult for beginners and console applications, well you can't excite anyone with them nowadays. Plus one has to use a lot of classes to read some input from the console (can't do it without exception handling!).
What I am struggling with is, how to best introduce objects. Let them write a bean for session data?
Should one include JSP specific stuff (actions, taglibs ...). If yes to what extend?