I’ve been writing articles aimed specifically at beginners, so I’ve thought about this a lot.
Because this game is so complex, and relies on understanding so many different concepts - for me, it makes sense to break it down to the simplest building blocks, and then try to introduce them in order. For me, that would be
- introduce the basic rules
- give some examples of why it takes 2 eyes to make life, and demonstrate a few false eyes
- introduce the concepts of sente and gote, and show what can happen when a player ignores that
- explain the purpose of settling one’s stones after a sente/gote exchange
- introduce the concepts of efficiency, and show why the order is corner > sides > middle
After that, I like to play games where we only play the first 50 moves - basically each player only gets 25 stones, and you explore some of those ideas as you try to play a balanced opening. If the person you’re teaching follows in the footsteps of the students I’ve encountered so far, they will probably start out over-focusing on one corner, and allow you to establish a lead in the first 50 moves, so you can use that as a teachable moment regarding balance, knowing when to tenuki, etc.
I feel like this material is already a LOT for a beginner to absorb, but I still feel this should be the basic foundation before you get into contact fighting, capturing races, etc.