Soaring Through Education: Teaching Students About The Flying Nun

As K-12 teachers, it’s essential to regularly diversify our lesson plans, engage students in new ways, and ensure that they learn about a wide range of topics. One such topic that can bring excitement and curiosity into the classroom is the 1960s television series, “The Flying Nun.” Introducing this unique piece of pop culture history can lead to engaging discussions and imaginative activities, truly taking flight with our students.

Firstly, let’s set some context. “The Flying Nun” is an American sitcom aired from 1967 to 1970, featuring Sally Field as a novice nun with the curious ability to fly—thanks to her magical habit (headpiece). While this comedic series might seem unconventional as a teaching tool, its value lies in opening doors for conversations on subjects such as history, religion, pop culture, and even science.

Kickstart lessons around “The Flying Nun” by offering students a brief overview of the television show’s premise and characters. Encourage them to examine the period in which it was created, reflecting on the role of religion during the 1960s and comparing it to modern times. It can also serve as an avenue to discuss the broader topic of representation in media, both historical and contemporary.

Incorporating “The Flying Nun” into English or drama classes could lead students to collectively create comedic improvisation games or scripts based on scenarios involving Sally Field’s character. These exercises promote teamwork and foster creativity while providing an opportunity for students to study elements of humor present in past television eras.

For science-oriented classrooms, use the flying aspect of “The Flying Nun” character as a springboard into aerodynamics lessons. Students can explore concepts like lift and air resistance while also conducting experiments with paper airplanes or small-scale model aircraft.

In art or design classes, encourage students to imagine how they would redesign the iconic habit to reflect modern fashion styles or incorporate their unique take on the idea. This challenges their creative thinking and helps them reflect on the evolution of costumes or wardrobe in the entertainment industry.

Finally, debrief students on the effectiveness and impact of incorporating such an unconventional subject into their learning experience. By engaging students in dialogue about how “The Flying Nun” sparked their curiosity, they might discover new topics and ideas for future exploration in their academic journeys.

Incorporating “The Flying Nun” into classroom lessons not only brings a unique taste of historical pop culture into the mix but also creates opportunities for students to engage with exciting and unexpected subjects. So, let your lessons soar to new heights by sharing the story of Sally Field as “The Flying Nun” and watch as your students take off!

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