Some Ideas for further extension of this activity....
Census Bureau Activity: To get a better understanding of your city or town of choice go to the Census Bureau and find out more information about the city.
Current Web Sites: Quite a few cities are now have their own web site. Try and find the cities web site and look at current economics, businesses, etc.
Mock Interviews: If you chose the city or town that you live in, find residents who have lived there for 40+ years and do an interview with them. Ask them to recall some of their highlights of the city.
Landsat TM: To get an even larger view of what the area looks like, view the Landsat TM image of the county that the city is in.
CIR Interpretation: Do this activity over, but pick a CIR image of a city first. See if you can make some assumptions of the city (geography, rural/urban, history) based on image interpretation. Look for obvious landmarks that might give you information on the city/town's history or economic mainstay. Once you have an idea of the area then go to the History of Our Towns and see if you were close in your assumptions.