I find many students between seventh to about tenth grade only come up with "Theme Words": Love, Revenge, Sadness. I made this list for them to keep in their English Folder so they can get it out and locate the word; then look for a theme saying with it. The themes are all put in the form of common sayings about life -- rather than formal college level theme statements.
I find this really helps students if they use it consistently throughout the year. When it comes time for testing they can often think of theses phrases when they see the word "theme".
I made it look "pretty" because it helps teach students to careful with it. You could even laminate a classroom set at the beginning of the year!