To teach theme, I always have my students think about a topic (usually 1-2 words and is an abstract concept such as love, hate, greed, relationships, etc.) that the story addresses. Then they find evidence from the beginning, middle, and end of the story that addresses that topic, focusing on what the characters do, think, and feel. Then, they come up with a theme about that topic (from looking at the evidence, what life lesson do we learn about that topic?).
This theme graphic organizer helps my students organize their information. There are two to a page so that it can be cut in half.