Give first graders some labels and permission to stick them on someone else, and their level of engagement is pretty sweet. I discovered this years ago, and it's become one of my favorite ways to practice all sorts of skills.
I use daily shared reading with big books to teach a lot of my phonics instruction. I'm not much for random skills practice. I'd much rather it come out of the literature we're enjoying. On this particular day, I used words from our big book to teach the sounds of y at the end of a word. After a quick secret sort and discussion about the sounds, I got out the labels.
I put the above labels on the foreheads of two of my better readers. (I choose these kids carefully. Their job is important and not for those who don't already have a good understanding of the skill.) Then they stood at the front of the room with these two sounds of y stuck to their heads, anxiously awaiting the next step.
All the other kids got a strip of blank labels like the one below. (By the way, I cut the labels in half so they last me longer.) Their job was to hunt for words in the room that ended in y. After writing down a word, they took it to the correct person at the front of the room.
(I'm pretty bossy about where the labels belong and don't belong by the way. They can easily end up in some inappropriate places.)
To sum up:It takes very little teacher prep and no copying of papers. It comes right out of meaningful literature. It doesn't take much time, so kids spend most of their time reading that meaningful literature. It can be used with most any skill (compound words and contractions, /ow/ and /ou/, long a and short a, etc.) The kids write. The kids read. The kids think. The kids are engaged. The kids are motivated. The kids love it! Grab some labels and you're ready to go!