The removal of Zn(II) ions from aqueous solution was studied using natural, thermally-activated and acid-activated kaolinite samples at different temperatures. The linear Langmuir, Freundlich and Dubinin-Radushkevich (D-R) adsorption equations were applied to describe the equilibrium isotherms. The Langmuir constants for natural kaolinite were found to be negative whereas, for the other samples, the isotherm models gave a good fit. In addition, the pseudo-first-order and pseudo-second-order models were used to determine the kinetic data. The experimental data were well fitted by the pseudo-second-order kinetic model. Thermodynamic parameters such as the enthalpy (Delta H-0), Gibbs' free energy (Delta G(0)) and entropy (Delta S-0) were calculated for natural, thermally-activated and acid-activated kaolinite. These values showed that the adsorption of Zn(II) ions onto activated kaolinite was controlled by a physical mechanism and occurred spontaneously The process of adsorption was favoured at high temperatures, with the adsorption capacity of the acid-activated kaolinite being greater relative to that of natural and thermally-activated kaolinite at various temperatures.