In the second book, the Alpha-Maniacs discover a mysterious treasure map on the beach. They excitedly begin to follow the directions in order to find the hidden riches, but when they encounter a shadowy sloth on their journey, they must interpret his slow speech if they want to discover the mystery behind the treasure.
Understanding the slow speech of Slomo the Sloth requires the Alpha-Maniacs to put their blending skills to the test. Slomo’s dialogue in the story is written to show how to separate the syllables in a word, or to show certain sounds being stretched. To show syllables, for example, the word children is written as child…ren. To indicate individual sounds that should be stretched, for example, the word map is written as mmmaaap. As you read, you should pause at the ellipses (…) to emphasize the different syllables and stretch the sounds of the letters that are repeated in each word. In the story, the Alpha-Maniacs (and children) are asked to help decipher Slomo’s slow speech to help uncover the treasure. Focus on key words in the dialogue and encourage the children to blend the sounds to help form the words as the story unfolds.
At the end of the book, you will find more blending activities to practice at home. All of these games can also be incorporated into a classroom environment. In addition to blending games, this book also includes activities to practice sound-symbol correspondence, or phonics.