Phonemic Awareness must be mastered before a student can become a successful reader and writer. As an Orton-Gilligham reading tutor, I have seen the difference good phonemic awareness skills can make in a child's ability to read and write. Until a student can attend to the sounds of language, the student cannot use sounds and symbols to read and write.
I developed this lesson plan template and use it for the instruction of phonemic awareness. The beginning tasks are for my youngest students: sound replication, rhyming, segmenting. My most disabled, and most advanced, students must master the later skills of phoneme manipulation and auditory discrimination. Just by adding sounds, syllables, and words to the template, the phonemic awareness lesson is ready and instruction can begin.