This article offers an examination of instructional strategies and tactics for the design of introductory computer programming courses in high school. We distinguish the Expert, Spiral and Reading approach as groups of instructional strategies that mainly differ in their general design plan to control students' processing load. In order, they emphasize topdown program design, incremental learning, and program modification and amplification. In contrast, tactics are specific design plans that prescribe methods to reach desired learning outcomes under given circumstances. Based on ACT* (Anderson, 1983) and relevant research, we distinguish between declarative and procedural instruction and present six tactics which can be used both to design courses and to evaluate strategies. Three tactics for declarative instruction involve concrete computer models, programming plans and design diagrams; three tactics for procedural instruction involve worked-out examples, practice of basic cognitive skills and task variation. In our evaluation of groups of instructional strategies, the Reading approach has been found to be superior to the Expert and Spiral approaches.