You need to show the children good examples of writing to make them improve. I believe it is the quickest way to create better writers in your class. Model it. Every day. That's why I always do some of the writing tasks I set my classes myself and shared my writing too. It works!
Have a quick talk about how writers engage the reader. See what they know.
Give out the prompt sheet and just let the children write. You will be amazed at what some of them will come up with.
After a set time period (30-45 mins) just share some examples. Find some good examples of how they engaged the reader, even if it's only one sentence or line. You have to start somewhere. Make a list of things we can do to engage the reader.
Then share the example about Annie. For this piece I used to give them the tip about starting and ending their writing with the same phrase. This can be really powerful. I would always just share one tip or focus per piece. Add it to the list.
I guarantee the next time you do some writing, some of the children will start and end their piece with the same phrase. Especially if you keep referring back to it.
As the year goes on, you have more and more tips to focus on. They will use them in their own work.
I have loads of these short bits of writing and each one has a different focus or sometimes I repeat the same focus again. The more they hear, the better they get. Model writing. Constantly.
If you want more examples then just leave a review and I will add some more model stories and prompts. They make great homework tasks too.