I always like to create a "mini" notes page that goes with our anchor charts so the kids can add them to their reader's notebooks. That way they can use them at any time, even when the anchor chart has to go away because we ran out of wall space!
We focused a lot on the three questions from the anchor chart. This really helped us think about and determine the theme.
What did the characters learn?
How did the characters grow or change?
Why did the characters act this way?
We used these questions after reading a story to figure out the theme. We used a flipbook to write our evidence based on the questions. Then, we wrote our theme for the story. We added our flipbooks to our reader's notebooks.
Some great books to use to get started with theme are...
by Christopher Myers
Theme: Bullying, Be proud of who you are, Be loyal to your friends
by David McKee
Theme: It's ok to be different, Be yourself
A Porcupine Named Fluffy
by Helen Lester
Themes: Be kind to others, Friendship, It's ok to be different