Shortly after I posted about the three period lesson I tried it with Ryann and she loved it! This is officially the first intentional Montessori activity that she completed from beginning to end.
Ryann has this puzzle:
I love it, but she hasn't really touched it since opening it on Christmas. I thought maybe it would hold more allure if we went over the concepts of short and tall. I picked the shortest and the tallest pieces and set them on the floor. First I identified the pieces, "this is short," "this is tall." Then I asked her which was tall and which was short. Finally, I asked her what each piece was. She understood it immediately wanted to do the lesson twice in a row but the second time through she labeled the pieces as "a elephant" and other such silly things.
I think the real success though was when she brought me the pieces a couple days later and asked to do the lesson. And she loved it just as much! I plan to do this with as many things as possible since this is something she is willing to focus her attention on.