A uniform extended multiscale finite element method is developed for solving the static and dynamic problems of heterogeneous materials in elasticity. To describe the complex deformation, a multinode two-dimensional coarse element is proposed, and a new approach is elaborated to construct the displacement base functions of the coarse element. In addition, to improve the computational accuracy, the mode base functions are introduced to consider the effect of the inertial forces of the structure for dynamic problems. Furthermore, the orthogonality between the displacement and mode base functions is proved theoretically, which indicates that the proposed multiscale method can be used for the static and dynamic analyses uniformly. Numerical experiments show that the mode base functions almost do not work for the static problems, while they can improve the computational accuracy of the dynamic problems significantly. On the other hand, it is also found that the number of the macro nodes of the multinode coarse element has a great influence on the accuracy of the numerical results for both the static and dynamic analyses. Numerical examples also indicate that the uniform extended multiscale finite element method can obtain sufficiently accurate results with less computational cost compared with the standard FEM. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.