Provide some examples of different themes, then explain the difference between a theme and a moral or lesson to ensure that students don't confuse the two. Go over the steps needed to analyze a developing theme in a story. Explain that a plot chart can help review the events in a story and keep track of the specific details that make up the overarching theme.
After this, read Kate Chopin's short story, "A Pair of Silk Stockings." Together, model with students how to use a plot diagram to review important events. Then go through the story and analyze the character and the changes she goes through to determine the theme. Have students identify the "common thread" of the story.