By Gina Kennedy

By Gina Kennedy

"100 Days of School" Celebration Ideas for Upper Elementary, Everyone Should Get To Enjoy the 100th Day of Learning!

Why does it seem as though all of the fun ends in 2nd or 3rd grade?  As if childhood is not short enough, we continue to make it shorter by pushing more academics and removing as much fun out of the school day as possible in order to make sure we are not reducing maximum learning time.
     All students deserve to have fun at school, build memories and celebrate milestones.  I've created a language arts and math resource for upper elementary students that includes critical thinking skills, brainstorming, and logic.   You can find this resource at my store below:

Check out my "100th Day Activities" Here:


1. Last year as my students entered the classroom on the 100th day of school, I had butcher block paper placed on top of the tables.   I asked the students to brainstorm 100 things they need in their life to be successful.  This is a picture of their list from last year:

2. Have a "100 Day of School" banner competition.  Then use the winning banner as the photo backdrop for the 100th Day celebration.

3. Pass out old magazines and divide your students into groups of 3-4.  Ask each group to cut out 100 random letters.  Once the letters are cut up, instruct them to create a message out of the letters that encourages others to "love learning".

4. Provide exactly 100 legos to groups of 2-3 students and instruct them to create a design that represents "success".  Have them present their creations to the class.

5.  Write a funny story about the family that is obsessed with the number "100".  They may have had 100 kids and each kid had 100 pairs of shoes and they only eat 100 calories for each snack and so on......

6.  Play "H-U-N-D-R-E-D Second Challenges"!  Divide the students into groups of 3-4 students. Each group needs to assign a recorder and have a piece of paper and a pencil. For each challenge they only have 100 seconds. 
Challenge #1: "H"  Brainstorm all the animals you can think of that start with "H" in 100 seconds.
Challenge #2: "U"  Brainstorm all of the things that people climb "under" in 100 seconds.
Challenge #3:  "N"  Brainstorm all of the words you can think of that rhyme with "nice" in 100 seconds.
Challenge #4:  "D" Brainstorm all of the things that people may "dread" doing in 100 seconds.
Challenge #5:  "R" Brainstorm all of the things you can think of that are "red" in 100 seconds.
Challenge #6:  "E"  Brainstorm all of the things you can think of that must come to an "end" in 100 seconds.
Challenge #7:  "D"  Brainstorm all of the things you can think of that people "divide" in 100 seconds.

7.  Invite your students to pretend they will only live to see another 100 days.  Ask them to create a bucket list of 10 things they would like to do or accomplish in 100 days. Tell them to pretend that resources or money are unlimited for their bucket list.

8. Because they've been in school for at least 4 or more years, have your students brainstorm 100 things they've learned since kindergarten.

9. Divide your class into three teams.  Team #1 must convince the other two teams that living 100 years ago would have been better than living 100 years into the future or living in the current day. Team #2 must convince the others that it is better to live in the present day than to have lived 100 years ago or 100 years into the future. Team #3 must convince the other two groups that it would be better to live 100 years into the future than live 100 years ago or in the present, day.  Each team must find a creative way to present their argument to the other team.

10. Tell your students to pretend that your school is going to issue a special edition magazine called, "100 Days of Learning at _________________ Elementary".  Tell your students that each of them have been chosen to be on the cover.  Each student must design their own cover for the magazine. The cover should include a title, date, subtitles of interesting articles inside the magazine, cover picture (you) and any other feature that could make the magazine cover interesting enough for others to want to pick it up and read it.

Author's Tone and Mood, Teaching Ideas that Make it Meaningful!


As I began discussing author's tone and mood last week with my students I realized how intrigued they were to learn that an author could manipulate their readers by simply using the right words.  After explaining to my students that a good writer looks at a completed novel or essay the same way as Van Gogh looked at one of his completed paintings, they really began to see the importance of becoming a good writer and appreciate writing as an art and not just a form of communication.  Authors are simply artists that express their attitudes and emotions by choosing the perfect words.

Quick Review:

Tone is the author’s attitude toward the writing (his characters, the situation) and the readers. A work of writing can have more than one tone. An example of tone could be both serious and humorous. Tone is set by the setting, choice of vocabulary and other details. 

Mood is the general atmosphere created by the author’s words. It is the feeling the reader gets from reading those words. It may be the same, or it may change from situation to situation.

Use this resource to begin your author's tone and mood studies!  I have created an introductory lesson that provides the core knowledge students need to help identify tone and mood, as well as provide an excellent intervention for students who need additional help with this skill.  You can purchase this resource at my store below:
Complete Author's Style, Tone and Mood Unit!

Here are a few other ideas to help your students grasp the concept of tone and mood:

1. Read the first few paragraphs of several newspaper articles and editorials from your local newspaper to your students and have them identify an emotion to describe how each newspaper article excerpt made them feel. Determine a tone and mood for each article.
    Take this a step further and provide newspapers for your students and with partners have the groups determine the mood and tone of at least five different articles or editorials from the newspaper.

2. Ask your students to brainstorm an event that took place recently at home or school that really frustrated them.  Then invite your students to write a few paragraphs to explain the event and subsequently identify the mood and tone of how they described the event.
    Then instruct your students to rewrite the event two more times, but each time they must write about the same event changing their word usage to create different tones and moods.  You can download this "freebie" resource from my store below:
Click Here to Download My Tone and Mood Writing "FREEBIE"

3. Create five categories of author's tones such as angry, resentful, gloomy and etc.  Brainstorm movies they've seen or books your students have read that would fit into the five categories.
    Do the same for author's mood.

4. Practice storytelling using different tones and moods.  Fill a brown lunch bag with different individual mood and tone words.  The students will draw out a tone or mood word from the bag and begin telling a story that identifies with the particular mood or tone.  The other students will guess the tone or mood of the story and the winner becomes the next storyteller.

For more author's style, tone and mood enrichment activities, you can purchase my "Author's Style, Tone and Mood Language Arts Enrichment Project Menu" shown below at my store:
Author's Style, Tone and Mood Enrichment Projects