Kaolin Products Teaching Materials

By Dr. Audrey C. Rule
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa

Copyright 1997, The Clay Minerals Society

Permission is given to teachers to reproduce this work for classroom use only. All other rights reserved. Sale, distribution, or other reproduction of this work is expressly prohibited without written permission from The Clay Minerals Society.

A pdf file can be downloaded that contains all of the images necessary to use the Kaolin Clay Products Teaching Materials. Click here to download the file.

Objective: Students will be able to match cards that tell kaolin properties and uses with corresponding kaolin products to demonstrate their awareness of the uses of kaolin clays.

Preparation of Materials:

1. Print the accompanying pages on a printer (in color, if possible).

2. Cut out the card fronts and backs from the printed pages. Use a paper cutter if possible so that the edges are straight.

3. Cut 12 squares of mat board measuring 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches. Glue the card fronts that list kaolin properties to the fronts and the corresponding product pictures to the backs.

4. Obtain a plastic shoebox. Use wide clear package tape to affix the label "Uses of Clay Minerals: Kaolin Clays" to the outside of each end of the box.

5. Cut out the "Directions" card and glue to a mat board rectangle measuring about 4 1/2 by 6 inches.

6. Find an example of each of the products that will fit into the shoebox.

Lesson Instructions:

Pass around a hand specimen of kaolinite (a white clay). Ask students to brainstorm its properties (white, powdery, mixes with water, opaque, etc.) Then ask students to suggest any uses they can for this mineral (often students are aware that clays are used in ceramics.) Finally, allow students to work in small groups to match cards that list properties of kaolin clays with corresponding products. They will probably be surprised at the many uses of kaolin clays.