There is a story for helping verbs and here is the way it was told to me.
(HELPING VERBS WILL BE IN CAPITAL LETTERS)
There were once was a boss that ran a large company. His name was WILL WERE. He had a girl working for him that would not do her work. She did not turn it in on time; it was messy; and she had never checked it over. Her name was MAY AM HAVE. So WILL WERE DID CAN (fire) MAY AM HAVE.
Now write this sentence on the board. What was the boss's name? What did he do? What was the worker's name that got fired?
Now the brothers of WILL WERE got upset because they thouhgt she should have been given another chance. There names were WOULD, SHOULD, COULD and SHALL. Nevertheless, they couln't talk him out of firing MAY AM HAVE. (Put the brother's names under WILL now with student's help.)The brothers (SHOULD, COULD WOULD,and SHALL) decided to get their sister to help with WILL WERE. Her name was WAS and WILL WERE would nearly do anything for her. (Put WAS under WERE) (Under DID, put the WAS's children's names-DO,Does) All three could not talk WILL WERE out of canning MAY AM HAVE. WILL WERE still thought about canning MAY AM HAVE, but he did not for a couple of days. (Nothing goes under the CAN) Her sisters came to talk to WILL WERE, but he wasn't happy to see MIGHT, MUST, and OUGHT TO, but he listened to them tell him that they would help her get better. They would check over her work nightly and work with her so she could become better. They also remeinded him of her 5 children-IS, ARE, BE, BEING, BEEN and that MAY AM HAVE really needed this job. That night WILL WERE talked to his board that consisited of HAD and HAS. They thought he should give her another chance since her sisters MIGHT, MUST, And OUGHT TO would be helping her. And you know what? She learned that learning helping verbs is fun.
Sentence on board:
Will Were did can May Am Have
Students enjoy naming the sentences, then the brothers, etc. They can have contests between themselves and who can name the most.
I occasionally let them draw a picture of the story in sequence in groups. They label the people and we post it in the room.